The other day as I was scrolling through my social media, I came across a saying that really resonated with me. My mother used to ask me this question but in a different form. The question was “Why do you always insist on taking the hard road?” I was not wise enough to answer her well. However, I think now I can even though she is not with me any longer here on earth. The answer to the question is simply this, “Why do you assume I see two roads.”
As we are on our road of life, sometimes we must take a path that maybe we did not see coming to teach us a lesson that will not only help us, but it might be of benefit to someone else. Sure, that road may be filled with potholes, and danger or even a collision or two. But they are there for a reason.
I know as a child I was not the easiest child to raise. I had my own mind from the time I was a toddler. I always went my own path. I guess I felt like I needed to know things to experience first hand things in order to learn. Did I make bad decisions, did I fall on my face. You bet. Did I disappoint my parents, on more than one occasion. Did I fail myself, you bet I did. Did I disappoint my creator, I have forgotten the times I did. And yet, I learned, sometimes I had to fall in that pothole more than once. I credit my Scot/Irish ancestors with that mindset. But I learned, eventually. For those of you who know the person you see today, I was not always that person. I was shy, timid, felt unworthy, unloved and unaccepted. I would not speak up, nor would I voice an opinion. I felt I had nothing to offer. I strived to be all things to all people and in the end, I lost me. I felt that my words did not matter, that my worth did not matter and that no matter how much I strived, I would never matter. It took the hard road to show me that I mattered, if to no one else but God. I have been called harsh by some, even my own children in the past. Maybe am. I know that if I am asked, I will speak up. If I see someone running out into the road and a truck is on a Collison course with them, I will try to pull them back. That is my road.
The “hard road” has taught me how to make my past experiences a guidepost not a hitching post and that is okay.
The point is this. As humans maybe we only see one road, and maybe that is okay. Maybe our journey will help someone else on their journey down their hard road. What we must remember is that our Creator is always by our side. He always walks with us and we always have a way to get out of those potholes.
Have you ever known someone that was constantly complaining about one thing or another? It did not matter what good things were going on in their life, everything was always doom and gloom.
I have known a few of those folks in my life. Their aura is filled with negative energy and therefore they attract every negative thing that comes their way. Even if something good happens they find something wrong with it.
I read this saying the other day and it struck me how true this is. “Repetitive complaining will attract things for you to complain about. Repeated gratitude will attract things for you to be thankful about.”
We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Even in times of trials we are to give thanks. We are not to complain.
In my life I have been through many trials, I have been at the bottom of the well and at the top of the mountain. I have been without and have had plenty. The thing I learned was to be grateful for even the smallest blessing. To be grateful for the largest trial. Both things were for my benefit and edification. I learned that by being grateful and by being appreciative for the things I was blessed with including the trials, I was blessed even more in ways I never imagined.
Complaining does nothing but destroy one’s emotional, mental, spiritual and physical being. It eats away at the person like a cancer and drives away those who are important. If we want to become more like Christ, then we must follow his example of always being grateful. We must express that gratitude to God and those around us. We must shine that light for the world to see and follow.
We are all on a journey, we all have life experiences, if we make those a guidepost as opposed to a hitching post, we can have repeated gratitude for all things that happen.
I agree that human nature says, complaining is the way to go. However, our example is not human nature our example is Jesus. Being openly grateful allows us to have peace in our lives. Being grateful draws us closer to God. Being grateful allows others to see God in us. Being grateful attracts more things for us to be grateful about. That is one of the best blessings there is.
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.
Ever since I was a small child I was taught the story of Eve. I was taught how she was deceived by the devil, how she talked Adam into eating the fruit and how because of her they were thrown out of the Garden.
But since those days, I have studied on my own. I found out thing about Eve that I was never taught. Life’s lessons that were put in the background. It hit me as I was watching all of the so feminist spouting their rhetoric about equal rights, blah, blah, blah. How women need to be empowered.
I went back to Eve. When we sit down and really look at Eve, we find that women have been empowered since the beginning of time. They have been leaders, they have been powerful. Let’s just start with Eve.
Yes, Eve sinned that is a given. Yes, she was deceived, that is a given. However, there are two thing that get lost in the translation. While she was deceived and while she did sin. She led a man. She led Adam into joining her in that sin. Adam was supposed to be the stronger one. The wiser one. The one who would resist. However, he fell under Eve’s spell and followed her into that sin. That shows power on Eve’s part. Yes, it was wrong. But on the flip side of that same coin women can lead men into taking paths of greatness. They can lead men into making the right decisions. So when I hear women say they need to be empowered I scoff at their ignorance. They are already empowered they have not yet learned how to use it the proper way. Sure they still lead men, but the consequences of that path are not what they should be.
Now, let us look at the rest of the story. God told Adam he would live by the sweat of his brow. In other words he would have to work hard in order to make a living for himself and his family. While on the surface that might not appear to be a big deal it is. Adam should have said no. He should have showed the woman that by sinning they would be separated from their Creator. He did not. He followed. Gen 3:17 ”
Now let’s look at Eve. While she was punished for her sin in that she would bear children in pain and sorrow, the promise of salvation came through her. God promised that he would strike the devil’s head through the woman. Which he did. God did not give the promise to Adam, he gave it to Eve when he cursed the Devil. Gen 3: 13-15
This morning as I was scrolling through my Facebook page, I saw something made me stop in my scrolling and not only read it but soak it in. “How we sit with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great.”
That one sentence speaks volumes. It puts in perspective how Christ walked on this earth. He sat with the broken, he walked with them and he healed them. When asked why he did this, he said that the broken was the reason he came to earth.
The great don’t feel they need healing. They think they have all the answers to the questions already. They understand all, know all and they need nothing. Sadly, this is not true. The broken know they are broken, they are looking for healing. They are looking for a better way. They are so broken the only way they have is up.
As children of God, should we not follow that example? Sure, our human nature wants us to be right up there with the great. They can offer us something. The broken can offer us nothing. We need to reverse that way of thinking. The broken can offer us something. They offer us the mindset of Christ. They offer us the ability to be humble, giving, and kind.
The great on the other hand, many times have to idea how to achieve the above much less put them to use in their lives. Would you rather sit with the Great and feed the broken the crumbs that drop from your table as you soak in every word of the great? Or would you rather walk with the broken to find more than crumbs and learn why and how they became broken then show them a greater way of life?
Would you rather sit with the great and never be challenged or would you walk with the broken and find way to help them on a different path.? Sitting with the great is indeed comfortable, however walking with the broken is challenging and rewarding. It teaches us as we help them.
When we are no longer sojourners on this earth, we will not be known for how many greats we sat with, in fact they probably won’t even show up at our service because they will be too busy. We served our usefulness and when we are gone, we will be replaced. The broken on the other hand will be there to pay their respects and honor our lives. They will be the legacy that lives on to shine as a light for others to follow.
Again, I make this statement, “How We Walk with the Broken, Speaks Louder than How We Sit with the Great.”
Think about how you walk with the Broken. Is it healing and helpful or is it condemning and destructive? Would you rather play it safe and Sit with the Great?
In nature a seed is planted so that something might grow. Notice I said might. Just because the seed is planted does not mean that thing will grow. There could be a myriad of reasons. The seed was to young to old, diseased, infertile, etc. However, the one who plants that seed will not know that until the seed is in the ground.
If the farmer was to afraid to plant his seeds in the springtime there would be no food to harvest. If we are too afraid to plant our spiritual seeds there will be no harvest. To add to that there will be spiritual starvation for lack of food.
In Galatians 6 : 9 we are told:
Galatians 6:9 English Standard Version (ESV)
9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
We are promised that in due season we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
In 2 Corinthians we are told ;
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Let us not grow weary of sowing the seeds, for even though not all of them will sprout, some will, and those will be the ones we tenderly care for so that the harvest will be rich.
Be willing to plant a seed, be willing to watch it wither, be willing to watch it grow. That is our mission. Be willing to produce a harvest.