“I was at the grocery store this morning and heard a loud crash and something shattering. Being nosy, I walked towards the sound and saw some people whispering and looking back to the end of the next aisle. When I walked down that aisle, I saw an older lady had hit a shelf containing dishes with her cart and many had fallen to the ground and broke. She was kneeling on the floor embarrassed, frantically picking up the shattered pieces, while her husband was peeling off the bar code from each broken dish saying, “Now we will have to pay for all this!”
I felt so bad for her, and everyone was just standing there staring at her!! I went and knelt beside her and told her not to worry and started helping her pick up the broken pieces. After about a minute, the store manager came and knelt beside us and said, “Leave it, we will clean this up. Let’s get your information so you can go to the hospital and have that cut on your hand looked at.”
The lady, totally embarrassed said, “I need to pay for all this first.” The manager smiled, helped her to her feet and said, “No ma’am, we have insurance for this, you do not have to pay anything!”
I have read this story many times and it never fails to send its message to me.
We are all broken. And yet, we pay no price for our repairs. That price has already been paid. We just have to accept the check and take the action of putting it in the bank. We will never be able to repay the bill. However, we can invest in the account. No matter our age, educational level, or experience or lack thereof, we can and must invest in the account, because we are no longer broken.
If we look around us, at nature, from the plant life to the animal kingdom, to the sky above us we see a balance. Everything has a place, a purpose and a beginning and an end. Everything depends on the other for not only survival but balance.
When we look at man, sadly, the same thing is not true. There is no balance even though the design is already there. We overwork, overeat, over think, over everything. We destroy that which should take care of us. We do not replenish those things we use. We waste those things which we should cherish and we horde those things which can, and most times do us harm. We are not cautious in our lives, nor do we learn from our bad decisions.
How many of us use these phrases in conversation and don’t even realize that we have made the statements, “Someday, I will…. Someday I want to…., Someday I need too.. Somebody needs to…. Someody should….” And the list goes on.
I too have been caught up in the same wheel of phrases. It was a lesson learned in a very hard way. I found out the somedays ran out, the Somebodies were me. I had to find balance. I had to understand that everyone has the same 24 hours in their lives. How we manage those 24 hours is where we either find our balance or make it off balance.
As we start a new year, may we make it a goal to find balance, to understand that someday is now, that some one is us.
In the study of Jezebel, we learned that while she was an evil, cunning, powerful and manipulative person who worshiped an idol, she was grounded in her faith. So grounded that she killed those she could not convert.
The point is this, how many of us are so grounded in our faith that we have tunnel vision. We truly believe in God and his divine power. A faith so strong it cannot be shaken. A faith that can be seen by others in our daily lives. A faith so strong that no one can doubt it.
While Jezebel, was a worshipper of an idol, she lived her faith. She stood by it and even died because of it. Yes, she was cruel, she was a non- believer in God, she taunted the prophet. But she believed.
The lesson I personally took from our study was it takes courage to stand up for one’s faith. It takes strength to withstand the storms of life and it takes knowledge to understand when we are wrong and are willing to change. Jezebel had all those tools and yet she refused to place her faith in the right place. The end results were she not only lost her husband in battle; she lost her own life by the very hands of her servants who threw out of a window.
Let’s learn from her mistakes. Let us keep our faith in God and his love for us, his plan and his vision. Let each of us stay grounded in our faith unshaken and unmovable.
I read this the other day and it is so true on so many levels, “If a Door Closes, quit banging on it. Whatever was behind it was not meant for you. Consider the fact that maybe the door was closed because you were worth so much more than what was on the other side.”
On the surface one might argue the point. However, on closer observation these words could not be truer. We sell ourselves short in our self-worth and many times we go after things that are not worth our time, effort or peace of mind.
We must be mindful of closed doors, we must trust that whatever was behind that door was not good for us, worthy of us or needful of us. Why waste our time banging on a door that will never open? It only makes our hand hurt.
I have done that many times and then wasted energy being angry because that door refused to open. I hope I have gotten past that and understand on a higher level that sometimes closed doors are good. They prevent us from making bad decisions which result in even worse consequences.
On the flip side of that coin when a door is opened never be afraid to walk through it. You might be surprised at the results.
I read a saying that really hit me between the eyes. It went something like this. “Faith isn’t a spare tire, it’s an everyday choice.”
It took me a moment to absorb that thought. I had to ask myself how I looked at my faith in the past. Did I use it as a spare tire, to change when things began to go smooth once again in my life and pull it back out when the waters became troubled?
I have to answer that question as yes, I did. I look back at the things that happened in my life early on and wonder how in the world I have arrived at the place in my life where my faith is no longer a spare tire. It is a choice. That choice is without my faith I would not be able to function. I would be angry not only at life, but God and everyone else around me. The things that have happened in my last the past seven years, could have sent me into the abyss, running on that spare tire.
However, by the grace of God, I learned that my faith was a choice and my choice was to wrap that faith around me like a coat. To know that God knows the big picture, that all things work
together for those who love the Lord and called according to his purpose.
When we look at how a spare tire is supposed to work, we understand that it is only a small tire and will only run for about fifty miles before it blows. When our faith is like that spare tire it too will only work for a short distance before it blows up in our face. But, if we make our faith a choice, it will sustain us even at our lowest ebb. It will never fail us, and it will give us peace that passes all understanding.
The more I take this journey of life the more I appreciate my spiritual ancestors who made the choice of faith, even though they were human and sinned many times over, their faith never wavered. The more I understand that faith was not a spare tire, it was a choice, it was the thing that drove them to be the best they could be – human failings and all.
As you go through your journey, make faith your choice, not your spare tire. Know that God has the plan, the answers and holds us in his hand.