Take My Toys

An actress was quoted the other day. (And we should OBVIOUSLY listen to everything actors say, after all, they pretend for a living.)

This celebrity said if a certain person was elected president, then she was going to leave the country.  

I am not going to try to sway your vote.  I am not a political expert.  I am not going to agree or disagree with either the candidate or the actor, truth be told, I don’t really appreciate either one of them but who cares what I think about someone else.

Here is a life lesson I wish I could learn:

It is easier to run than to remain, but strength and love are found in the “remain”.

You know what I like about Samuel the prophet?  He was the leader of Israel and they cried out to him, “We want a king just like all the other nations.”  This cry hurt Samuel’s feelings.  It was not his plan.  It was not God’s plan.  

Bad choices all around and Samuel was old and ready to be done.  (I Samuel 8)

Yet Samuel remained in a country that was no longer excited about his way of life.  He could have simply said what we have all heard from the playground to the political stage…  I am going to take my toys and leave.  The great divorce.

Samuel remained.

I think we need more Samuels.  No, wait, I think I need to be more like Samuel.  More like Jesus.

In John 15:4 Jesus said, “Remain in Me, as I remain in you.”

Perhaps that is the way to say “I love you”.  Even when you disagree with Jesus, and fight Him, and crucify Him, and ignore Him, and complain about Him…

He will remain.

Strength and love are found in the “remain”.

The Fire

I was 4 when my grandmother’s house burnt down.  I remember two things vividly from that day.

I remember my uncle Skip standing at the stove trying to put the fire out and yelling for me and my cousin to go to the neighbor’s house.

I thought Skip was a hero.  The fire proved it.

I also had a brand new tool box.  It was made out of metal and it went everywhere with me.

  
After the fire, we stood in front of the remains of grandma’s house and I saw what is forever burned into my memory:  There was a scorched rendition of a couch with a blackened tool box fused onto the top.

My toolbox survived!

I went there first.  Opened up the toolbox to see my prized hammer, screwdriver, wrench, tape measure (that was my favorite)…

My hammer had a plastic handle.
Screwdrivers – plastic handles.
Everything else was made almost completely out of plastic.

I opened the toolbox to see a soup-like melted mass of tools and a hammer head.

Fire will prove our metal / mettle.
Fire will let everyone know what we have inside.

Fires come often. In every relationship. In every community. In almost every circumstance.

When the fire burns around you, I pray you have something fire-proof in your toolbox.

Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of the Lord stands forever.”

Leaning Forward

“I have to remind myself to lean forward.”
That is what my friend Paul said.  He is making a transition from snowboarding to skiing.  It is something new for him.

Here is a fun life lesson:
On the mountain, leaning forward will not result in a fall, it will result in skiing.

But leaning forward is not always comfortable.  It does not feel safe.  It takes us out of our comfort zone.

You have to lean in to the unknown in order for the future to become the present.

Another Paul once wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

New Year’s resolution suggestion:  Lean forward.  

Jesus, gladly will I leave the old scene behind.  Let me lean into You today.

Jeep verses the world

I have a jeep.  I have a little confidence in my jeep.  You know, it is a Rubicon.  
A jeep weighs about 5700 pounds.

Yesterday a school bus got stuck in the snow right in front of me.  I wanted to be helpful.  
A school bus weighs about 28,000 pounds empty.

A friend and I attached the tow rope to the bus and the jeep and I started pulling.  

Nothing.

You may wonder why I tried to pull a bus with a jeep.  Did I think the bus would budge?

I wanted it to budge.  I had visions in my big head of David pulling Goliath out of the snow and then the town giving me the key to the city and being featured in Jeep Magazine and having my own sitcom…

Instead, nothing.

Nothing until the town brought a snow plow and chain.
A snow plow weighs about 29,500 pounds.
The snow plow driver had full confidence!
There are things that I thought I could do:
I thought I could change my life.
I thought I could get rid of my sin.
I thought I could have a relationship with God.

I had visions in my big head of going to God and saying, “I will follow You…” and then God would say, “Yes!” and He would give me the keys to Heaven and tell me I was in charge and then ask me to write an explanation of the Bible.

Instead, nothing.

The more I tried to approach God or be “good” or walk with the Almighty, the less I succeeded.

Nothing.

Nothing until God brought in Jesus.

I weigh 220 pounds.
Jesus weighs everything.
I have full confidence in Jesus.

The next time you find yourself with something impossibly heavy at the end of your tow rope, try calling my friend Jesus.

Jesus, thank You for being the Heavyweight. We will never be stuck again.