Archive for July 2009

Unless the LORD builds the house, they labour in vain that build it

July 31, 2009

There is nothing which I have to say that might be helpful to you. Seems a bit stark to say so, but it is true. If all the information I have to share with you is about me, who I am, where I come from, how I lost my moral compass when I was in my early twenties. It would be about as useful as one of those conversations you have with a stranger, where you look at the falling rain and agree that it is raining. Of course, the exchange of useful information is not the function of those awkward chats, but perhaps you can see what I am getting at.

If my story is only about my petty jealousies and my failures, my failed attempts at success, then there is not much to tell. I would be like one of those pedantic fellows who bend your ear with a tale of the sex lives of blue skinks. The reaction of any sane person to such a monologue should be an eye rolling, “shoot me, shoot me now” type of feeling. If I am only telling you of my obsessions, and hang-ups without relieving the tedium of the narrative with something hopeful or transforming, it cannot be of much real use to you

Ah, but there is good news for you and for me. For the story is not only about me. It is about God. It is about how He reached down into the abyss of my obsessions and hang-ups and began to draw me out. To know Him, to be one of His sheep. Why would He do such a thing? How could He, or would He be interested in a failure like me?

The answer to these questions is a great story. For me it is an important story. How He allowed me to stray but kept me from serious harm in a generation that killed many promising youths with drugs and recklessness. How He drew me out of the sexual revolution just before AIDS came along and swept another throng of promising people into the ash bin.

I speak of a time when you might have realized that the fellow who was recently found dead in his apartment, was the fellow who passed out in the corner of your living room at your last party. Or you would have heard of the classmate who came back from Viet Nam without a scratch except that now he couldn’t hold a job, or a match for that matter in his shaking fingers.

Gentle reader you may also have similar blessings, like the serious injury, which though terrible in itself, kept you out of the Army, and kept you from an appointment with a roadside bomb in Iraq. Or perhaps, because of old emotional wounds, you have a tendency to shrink from being a part of the gang. That becomes a critical advantage when the gang gets a bad batch of ecstasy and some of them die and others are damaged.

God has at times chosen to spare people from the horrors they have wandered into, and at other times He has chosen to let a person drink the chosen cup to it’s bitter dregs. This is how God gets our attention. If saving you from certain death and infamy will cause you to pause and consider how the impossible just happened, then He will do that. If you will not be turned from your self destructive ways He may allow you to follow them, even to their tragic conclusion, because you see, He did not choose your path. You still have free will. A person on his way down the steep spiral to self-destruction will often have signs warning him of the crash he should shortly expect. If he ignores the warnings, then how is the person’s demise God’s fault.

Human beings are a strange lot, I read recently that;

“Of the 2,501 drivers surveyed this spring, 95 percent said that texting was unacceptable behavior. Yet 21 percent of drivers said they had recently texted or e-mailed while driving.About half of drivers 16 to 24 said they had texted while driving, compared with 22 percent of drivers 35 to 44.” (New York Times article “In Study, Texting Lifts Crash Risk by Large Margin” Published: July 27, 2009)

These folks knew that their attention was dangerously divided while texting, often because of close calls. They knew that this behavior was dangerous, yet they did it anyway. We as humans are weak, we are contradictory in our behavior, and we seem to be content to stay that way.

Fortunately God has a better plan for us than we can imagine. God knows where we are headed and what we need, the problem for us is that because of free will we have to cooperate with Him to get the full benefit of His love and generosity. We have to choose Him and His ways. Hoping and wishing that you are on His side does not cut it, you have to respond to Him, turn to Him when things are bleak and also when things are good. You cannot know what God wants and what He is doing in your life until you know Him, until you can hear His voice.
Jesus said

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
John 10:27 New Century Version

Listen for Him, listen to Him and obey Him. It’s funny but the majority of stories about people who have come to the Lord, start off with some impossible tragedy or trouble which is beyond the ability of the person to deal with and that is when the majority of people call on the Lord. When they have run out of resources, or guts to see it through. In those times of extreme difficulty a person begins to see how extremely limited he or she really is.

So come on now Superman, and Wonder Woman, you know that you are not really all that strong, that your resources are limited. You know that you can’t really make it on your own. Do not wait to seek the Lord. Do not put off laying aside your pride and humbly coming to Him. Open the door to your heart and let Him in, He is the only thing you really need anyway.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Matthew 6:33 KJV

Seek the Lord with all of your heart, and all of your mind, and all of your strength.

Nathan

nathan@cherandanadotcom