Thursday, June 18, 2009

An Awesome Place To Live happens during those moments when we have more confidence in an unfavorable outcome than we do in a favorable one. It occurs when we have little or no control over a situation and the outcome is completely out of our hands. Worry leads to stress which in turn can lead to some major physical problems.

So, why do we do it? Why do we sit around wringing our hands worrying about those things we can do nothing to fix? It's as if something inside of us just takes over doesn't it? We can't fix it, remedy it, or control it so everything in us tells us to worry. Of course, our worrying always fixes the problem. Yeah, right. Truth is, it never does. Worrying never fixes anything.

Think of all those moments when you've sat around worrying about something and the end result proved that you had nothing to worry about in the first place. Or, how about those moments when you've worried about something that turned out just as bad as you expected. Honestly, did the worrying help? Of course, it didn't. Here's my point, there are things in life we can do nothing about. Now, all you faith people don't shut me out here. I'm talking about those times when we've prayed, we've believed, we've quoted scripture, and done everything else we can possibly do in order to affect a situation or circumstance. Once you are there, there is nothing else you can physically do.

So, we worry. We panic. We get all stressed out. We sit around wringing our hands hoping things somehow, someway turn out better than we anticipate. It is only when we get to a place in our life when we truly trust God that worry is no longer our default state of being. It is only when we really trust that He's got our best interest in mind, or that we have total confidence in God's ability to be in control. Yeah, we know He's God, but our problem is sometimes we're not really sure He's up to the God role. At least, our actions say that.

When we can lay our head on our pillow at night with the confidence that God's at the helm and because of that all is well, that's faith. No, I didn't say that all is well with the world around us, just the fact that God is the one that's sitting on the throne. He's the one in charge. When we know that, I mean really know that, our actions and reactions take on a much different look. When we know, not just hope, that He's working in our life, righting the wrongs, fixing what's broke, and preparing us for what's ahead, it affords a confidence that we could have no other way.

Faith isn't quoting scripture or claiming something through the power of positive thinking. It's knowing. It's not a formula or a ritual. It's the point where my hope has given way to a confidence so sure that it no longer requires me to hope. It's the point at which the thing I hoped for, I know I have even though I've not actually touched it, smelled it, tasted it, or seen it. As a result, my life becomes a reflection of that confident knowing. Do you think a person who knows acts different than a person who hopes and wishes? Absolutely!

God longs for us to trust Him. He so desperately wants us to know that He's trustworthy and faithful. He wants us to live in such a way that our lifestyle screams all is well because God is on the throne even when what we see is telling us different. The truth is, this world around us and how our 5 physical senses navigate through it, can be a constant challenge for our faith. The main problem is that we are so acquainted with this world and the way it works. What is necessary for us is to become more acquainted with God and how He works. When we determine to do that is when our faith and confidence in Him begins to grow. Its a journey. Its a process of learning to trust and believe God. The final destination is a sweet one though. Its a place void of worry, and fear. Its a place of perfect peace, and complete confidence in One more capable than any other. Its a place of rest and relaxation. It's a place called faith and believe me when I say, you've got to go there some day. It really is an awesome place to live!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Missed Free Throws And A Perfect God

While watching the Lakers and Magic last night I was once again reminded of man's constant battle with imperfection. Missed free-throws down the stretch, turnovers, missed shots, blown defensive assignments, and blown calls by the officials. How many times have you been watching a sporting event in which the outcome is more a result of the losing teams lack of execution rather than the winning teams execution? It happens all the time.

We humans as good as we get, still aren't all that good. We sit around comparing talents, skills, and abilities and yet our best falls far short of perfection. In baseball we call a man great if he can hit .400, yet that means he gets an out 6 out of 10 times he steps up to the plate. Kobe Bryant who has become known as "the closer," has made 14 game winning shots in the last 5 years. But his 56 missed game winners seems to indicate the need of another nick-name. Here's the point, because we aren't perfect we sit around celebrating man's attempt at being less imperfect than the other guy. In the end, our best is still quite pathetic when compared to perfection.

I wonder if God chuckles at what we consider great. Think about it. While we sit around toasting our success, He keeps all the planets in orbit. He paints yet another sunset sky. He kicks back on His throne and props His legs up on his footstool called earth. I'm thinking he does indeed chuckle at our attempts at greatness.

God is perfect. Perfect in all that He is and perfect in all that He does. Scripture tells us that He is incapable of being tainted by anything or anyone. He is pure and incorruptible. His greatness is off the charts. While we strive to better ourselves, He can get no better. He is, always has been, and always will be at the top of his game. His performance suffers no slumps, ruts, or inconsistencies. He is who He was and will always be who He is. He never changes and He never waivers. He is perfection personified.

It's not wrong to celebrate mankind's achievements. What's important is that we keep things in proper perspective. So, next time you find yourself celebrating man's imperfect achievements, just remember who's achievements can never be matched.