Don’t we think we have it figured out sometimes? Consider “it” to be any daily challenge, task, or circumstance. I am guilty of this. More often than not, I operate with the assumption of: I got this…
sewed up. mastered. figured out. dominated. duh.
My devotional this morning put me in my place. Even if I am right about having it figured out on occasion, the truth is I am still:
screwed up. a 26 year old novice. clueless. defeated. faking it.
What I read this morning was warning and advice from King Solomon. He was arguably the most successful and knowledgeable man to ever live. The writer of my devotional ascertained the following in his commentary. Affluence and success destroy hope and produce despair.
Oh baby! Talk about counter-cultural! It is an easy concept really. If you have it “figured out,” then you have no need to rely on anyone or anything. In other words, you have nothing to hope for, because affluence and success is already yours. To the part about despair, well, have you ever seen anyone fall from the top? Familiar story if priorities are out of whack, right? Let’s stretch our thinking even further with this factoid: by His grace, God has ordained this life to not satisfy. Sounds right to me. Ever been hungry or thirsty or upset because you didn’t get your way? Whether we have much or have not, we want more. Don’t fret, for heaven will be satisfying!
Let’s apply. Lately, I have been in a place of satisfaction in my circumstances. When I have opened God’s Word, I have not approached it with a posture to be impacted. I’ve studied it. I’ve answered question in my Bible study companion workbook. My approach derives from my attitude of satisfaction. It is a lie. It is shallow satisfaction. I have felt it! It does not feel good. The false satisfaction spills into my marriage, relationships, and energy throughout the day – it drains me without me knowing. Interestingly, it sounds like the despair my devotional introduced this morning. There is a need for change.
Not a big change in my opinion. Just a change in posture and approach. The Lord guides my steps, and He has put me in this place of false satisfaction which somehow – beyond my comprehension, thankfully – returns glory to Him. No doubt about it, He has me in His hands. Yet, I have free will and a responsibility to respond to the gospel. How can I do that each morning as I open God’s Word? Simply, enter into time with Him ready to be impacted by the hope He gives, because I do not have it figured at all.
My cousin Walker Winders doing his thing. Kid is a stud and solid for a 16 year old. Good job my man.
Gladys Janeway is now with God in Heaven.
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (1 John 5:11-14 NIV)
How long does the “best foot” need to stay forward before you can just let people see your feet for what they are?
Faith is a word much like leadership in that it tends to gets thrown around aimlessly. Thus, the word is misunderstood much of the time. Which is a shame. It seems faith is also a word misunderstood in many contexts because it is frankly hard to comprehend. Faith is not easy – having faith, acting on faith, faith in others, faith in yourself, being faithful, understanding faith.
Pondering this, my hypothesis (which are really fun to have when you’re not a scientist or researcher) on faith is that it is tough for us because it is socially backwards. We believe in what we see. We don’t believe before we do. In contrast, faith does not require sight. In fact, faith is absent of physical sight. Do you know what that means? If we cannot see that which we have faith in, then faith is SCARY! AHHH!
We are innately scared of what we cannot see – from the monster in the closet to the apocalypse. Thank you Disney Pixar for helping me conquer my fear of monsters. Thank you Hollywood in general for creating movies depicting scenario after scenario of how the world may end as we know it. We cannot see it. Thus, it scares us.
Thus, faith is a social flip-flop for us. We cannot see it and that is scary.
Faith is also risky. People do not like risk because ultimately, it exposes if you are wrong or right. It seems most people calculate their risks. This may be an attempt to come off as smart though they are wrong. “I bet on the losing horse, but it was only a dollar,” or “I asked her out and she said no, but I had nothing to lose.” True faith does not allow for calculated risk. It’s all in deal.
I have faith the sun will come up tomorrow. If it doesn’t, I am totally screwed. But that is just a copout, right? The sun has come up at the start of every day since… forever ago. I’ll give you a better example.
There is a community, a body, of people I have been running with for over a year and half now. They embrace faith. They embrace the flippy-floppy nature of faith. These people are Christians and our faith is in a Savior named Jesus Christ.
Our faith leads us to believe that Jesus is a gift from God through whom he paid the debt of our sins. Further, he paid the debt in his blood, his death, and his resurrection. That’s right. Jesus atoned for our sin completely by conquering death.
How awesome it is that we find our faith to be strange, irregular, and rebellious. It is socially flip-flopped. Have I ever seen Jesus in the flesh? Nope. Do I think I deserve the mercy God gave by providing a Savior for a wretch like me? No, but I accept the gift regardless. This is not to present an argument that my way is better than yours might be. That will be saved for a different blog post and I would not take that stand. I’ve got an argument stored up which is far superior to “mine is better than yours!”
Regardless, I don’t have all the proof. I just have faith.
Who on this earth really knows what is going on and what is best? The Democrats or the Republicans? Do you really have FAITH in either?
Do you really have faith? Make sure, because faith is different. Faith is trusting in the Truth.
[that's Truth with a capital T]
Post pics of Guatemalan ninos and everyone on FB flocks to them!
Here we go. The end of my journey is here. As I sit in a silly little airport restaurant exhausting the last bit of my Quetzalez, there is a plethora of thoughts running through my mind. So, do not expect any earth-shattering declarations from me today. However, allow me to put thumbs to touch screen and share some of my observations at random.
An orphan boy turned 18 last week. He’s a very talented artist and wants to be an architect. He was recently robbed on the street and no longer has a computer. It’s the 4th time he has been robbed in roughly 4 years. Four!
Attitudes of self-reliance should be altered to be the pursuit self-sustainablility. I’m proud to have been part of an amazing project to build a green house. In the very near future Casa Bernabe will sustain itself through its massive garden and green house. And the food is fresh – oh yeah!
Encouragement enables us, so accept it when it is given to you. Encouragement at its most basic is loving one another; Jesus called believers to do just that.
Americans complain a lot. My guess would be that we complain more than most.
Most important aspect of a wedding is a God centered ceremony celebrating two people (especially the bride)… The second most important aspect is dancing. Dancing is a must. There was no dancing at the wedding yesterday. Didn’t stop me though! Muahahaha! I had a great dance partner in Mariela.
“I wish they all could be California girls” – shout out and up to my new Westmont College friends. The dudes were cool, too. Haha, we hiked an active volcano!
Danielle – new fan of Double Xx vitamins! Thanks for asking me to play cards!
Kaley – you’re crazy for wanting the craziest house on the orphanage grounds but you also rocked it out! Keep taking on challenges! Big solutions only come from attacking big problems.
Taylor – I used to think the most quotable people were CS Lewis and Mark Twain. You’re giving them a run for their money.
Sarah – you are a very impressive young woman! Check out more on Boosterthon opportunities. I’m just a FB message or email away.
Brooke – lead well my friend! Greatest leadership book ever written was the Bible. Barnabas has been on my heart lately. The Encourager!
Aubrey – your attitude toward serving others, initiating laughter, and your awareness of God’s omnipresence is so encouraging. Excited to stay in touch and update one another on our walks. I had lots of fun with you!
Tim Tebow is pretty stinkin’ cool. However, after meeting a few missionary kids here, I know there are more studs and studettes out there. They a servicing the Lord and biding their time. The ones I go to hang with:
Nathan the Selfless
William the Quiet Killer (plays for national Guatemalan Williamsport team)
Emily the Next YouTube pop star
Yates the Fearless
Rachel the Honorary Boosterthon Team Member
The Lord provides our needs. Casa Bernabe has an amazing full time staff that would not be able to minister the best way they can without volunteers (local and international, part time missionaries).
Darby – pillar of servanthood. You set the bar high!
Emerson Family – you offered a little slice of home for me. If its possible to love a family from just a few days of interaction, I love y’all.
Steve – didn’t really get to know you until our ride to the airport but you offered clear perspective on the Christian lifestyle.
Edgar – you’re not always in the spotlight, but you always know where it should be pointed. You’re the man!
Toni Lynn – your the example for in-the-field work ethic and commitment
Etel – you little matchmaker you! Thanks for allowing me to hang out with your boys. And thanks for the jewelry!
Tony – I honestly didn’t always know what to think about you because you made me work so hard! Yet, my trip would not have been the same without you. I’m inspired by your work capacity.
That’s all for now! I’ve got to board this plane for ATL. Booster team here I come! #ctw