Friday, September 17, 2010
One thing I don't fully understand, but know to be true, is that we have some choice in how our day will go. Oh, not that we can choose what will happen to us, but that we can mentally prepare ourselves for meeting the day's challenges with an air of optimism. We can wake in the morning and say, "Lord, I don't know what today holds for me, but I do know that you are beside me and will guide my thoughts and actions." Notice that I say "guide" my thoughts and actions and not "steer" them. For in the end, He is my captain, offering the sound advice of a proven, surefooted navigator. I, however, quite often ignore the iceberg that was pointed out some miles back.
Regardless of what today holds for me and my family, I will at least try to face it with the realization that my reaction to a situation will make it better- or worse. Nothing in between. And knowing that I am not facing this day alone makes all the difference.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
I have enjoyed a long career with my company- almost 17 years. A few years back I decided to try something different within the organization, going from sales management into a marketing position. I moved my family to beautiful town near the corporate headquarters, set up my office, bought a nice house and for 3 years thoroughly hated it. "Oh, you made a mistake", you might say. Hardly. God systematically broke down a hardened, ego-inflated heart over those 3 years. He forced me to re-evaluate my life and re-engage with my family. For me, He drew a clear line in the sand between my livelihood and my life.
The bible is full of stories of great men and women who, despite their own ideas of what they should be doing with their lives, had to wait upon the Lord. Take the apostle Paul for example. Many people think that he was converted on a Damascus road and instantly began his world-changing ministry. The reality is that after his first brush with ministering to the Jews he barely escaped with his life. This led to 3 years of seclusion and study in Arabia and eventually 5-6 years back in his hometown of Tarsus. Can you imagine that? Paul was raised and trained in Pharisaic law, had been converted to Christianity in one of the most dynamic ways possible and now he was back in his hometown making tents. Now that's a dream put on a shelf! It's also God working on a very hard case, moving a man from self-centered to servant. As you know, the story has a happy ending. Barnabas, a lesser know apostle, seeks Paul out, asking for help to preach to the growing church in Antioch. And so begins the next 20 years of Paul's worldwide ministry.
Are you in your "Tarsus" right now? Waiting for something... anything? You're in good company if you are. It may be that your train has been derailed because of a financial misjudgement; a failed marriage; a lost job; a tragic accident or chronic disease. Maybe it's due to circumstances for which you have no control. Whatever the case, there is something great in store for you- God precedes His best work in our waiting.