As swift as the day comes, so it leaves. Life is swirling by faster than we would like to give it credit for, as our clocks and calendars remind us of our routine oriented lives.
It’s so easy to go with the flow. Who wants to be the salmon swimming up stream? Yet, I think that is what we are called to do. We need not be guided by what society says is right or wrong but guided by what God says is. We live in a society that encourages us to do whatever comes naturally, or makes us feel good, but is this really for our benefit or detriment?
I was heading down the road in our 2006 Toyota Sienna with my precious cargo in tow. Timmy and Izzy were in their car seats, and Jayden was in my womb. Thoughts of the day were filling my head, as I traveled the same route I had driven many times before. It is kind of scary how methodical driving the same route becomes. Stop sign, go, stop light, go. Sometimes we are kind of on auto pilot as we travel the all too familiar paths.
Some Bible versions say honor, other translations say respect, but the underlining meaning holds the same, it is intended to place value on another human being. People we naturally respect may range from God to a family member, perhaps someone in an authority position. I admire when people show respect to others because it is just as much an earned privilege as it is a choice from the one extending this gracious offer. I feel there are those who earned respect due to noteworthy characteristics and then there are those times we show respect to another because it is the honorable thing to do, whether they deserve respect or not.
Today is the day for obedience. Oh wait, that doesn’t work for me…ok, how about tomorrow? Wait a second that’s my hair appointment; can I take a rain check? Obedience is a funny thing, you either are or you aren’t going to be obedient. Our slew of excuses range from almost understandable to silly, but no matter what the conclusion is to failing to adhere to the direction God is sending, they all fall into the same garbage heap under the title “excuses.”
Financial distress, natural disasters, death, illness, the list goes on of the tragedies that happen on a daily basis, yet, if we aren’t personally involved with these tragedies, does it really affect us? We sit comfortable in our cozy homes with our bellies filled and our priorities set. We plan for the future and try not to dwell on the pain that others are experiencing. Perhaps we say a prayer or watch the news with sympathy in our hearts. Sometimes, if we are directly affected we make changes. Perhaps we start praying fervently over fear of the unexpected, but as weeks and months pass so does our urgency to change. Why does it take so much for our heart to be softened, to change our actions before negative consequences ensue, or to have compassion on those dealing with tragedies enough to become involved?
Where is God? The question emanates from those around me. I see their longing, their desire for peace, the feeling deep down that there is something more. But they still haven’t experienced the life changing power of Christ and wonder why? The assumption soon rises perhaps it is what it is. I can’t dwell on something I can’t change, so I will just enjoy this life, and hope everything works itself out at the end. Unfortunately, we can’t wait till the end to make amends with God. We have to make proactive steps now to receive His presence and solidify our hope in what is to come.
Why God? Why me? Why do hardships come and trials rage around us? We question. We grow discouraged. Yet, aren’t we supposed to be thankful in all things? How is this possible when we can barely keep our head above water?
Are they going to like me? Why aren’t I as pretty as her? Are they going to listen if I share my heart? Am I dispensable? Am I capable enough? What person doesn’t deal with insecurities of some shape or form? Sometimes if they are bad enough, they take on a life of their own, even directing and controlling our actions. I struggle with insecurities; it seems like they manifest more heavily when I am feeling tired or already drained emotionally. I don’t think we have to stay in the position of succumbing to our insecurities. We can rise above them, but in order to overcome insecurities we have to learn what it means to be secure.
What must one experience before they bend their knee? Whether we are a Christian or not we still struggle with our independent ways. Although we may not think it, sometimes our actions portray that we think our ways are higher than Gods, as we follow our “own” path, whatever feels good or makes sense at the time, even if it is sinning, and not beneficial. God cares about us too much for that. So He will draw us to Him with whatever means necessary.