Friday, August 12, 2011

~ "Dear God, you know that house that sits overlooking the lake..."

And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. (Ecc 2:10-11)

None of us are perfect. We all have our moments when we look down at those who do not have as much as we have (and for some of us, that's really a stretch). We all categorize people into groups and classes. We are a people obcessed with success and preoccupied with making more money. We are never satisfied. We want more today than we had yesterday. We devise ways to hold onto what we have and look for loopholes around every corner. Some of us take it to the extreme, others moderately and benignly cover our greed, and still others need to hang on to the little we have for the rainy day. In all this, many forget two important truths: we can't take it with us; we are to give to the works of the church of Christ (not necessarily a "church" building).

What do you ask God for? Do you ask for a bigger home, a better job, a new car, fancier clothes? King Solomon asked God for wisdom. The problem with his request was that although he recognized the need for wisdom to rule his kingdom, he had already started a habit which would make his wisdom ineffective for his own life.

We are reminded by his decision to go against not only his father's (David) last words, but also God's direct commands, how easy it is to know what is right and yet not do it. How often do we make excuses for our actions (justifying them to others)? How often do we know the "right" thing to do and choose the easier? How often to we turn our backs and walk away? How often do we shake our heads at the ways of the world and point fingers as opposed to taking responsibility for our actions or inactions, and spend time criticizing others all from the comfort and safety of our living room couch?

Often we received a gift or a blessing that we believe has come too late. We will mumble the words "where was this yesterday" and be sullen and disappointed that we didn't receive (or realize) it sooner. Nothing that the Lord does for us is ever "too late". Realizing the error of our ways, the sins of our past and what we had and chose to throw away, is often the greatest blessing we could ever receive. Letting go of the past (not being able to change or fix things) is only as hard as we make it. Sometimes we don't want to let go, because in letting go, we must stop waiting for that miracle that takes us back in time and enables us to change our own course of history. God's plan for us included that time frame. Those events, when combined with His plan for our future, helps to make it more of a blessing, for we realize the value of the lesson we've been taught, the wisdom we have acquired and the journey that brought us both.

Our blessings do not come from the wealth or "pretty things" we acquire. Our money does not buy happiness, it buys things that make us smile for a while and those things become dull and boring. God's blessings are always new, they always shine and they are always perfect. They are often not tangible in this life, yet they are essential to living a compleley fulfilled life in Jesus. So, don't ask for the material things you'd like to make your life "easier" - ask for the wisdom and the strength to accept what you have and be blessed by it. Let go of your "failures" and walk toward the successes that the Lord has waiting for you! Take a lesson from the life of Solomon. Learn the lesson of repentance now, not later, for although you know the actions required of you, it means little without the will to do them.