Archives For trust

Recently driving I heard the radio tagline for a Christian station that said “Safe for the whole family.” Sounds nice, eh? Seems reassuring, right? It’s as if Walt Disney was speaking directly to me and it felt really soft like a cashmere sweater in the fall. I am a marketer so I can appreciate someone trying to create “emotion” and “security” to bring me in and feel good about my choice. In this case, I was listening to a radio station.

I am quite cognizant of what I expose my girls to when it comes to culture, especially music. What parent doesn’t want his or her children to be safe and live as pure of a life as possible? On earth we are realists too and recognize there is only so much we can control when it comes to exposure. The moments our children step away from us, the more the world becomes their experience, not our experience. But they watch my wife and I carefully.

I live in a suburban area full of safe activities but most of it is about staying in a box. This box is full of safe things to do. Drive a safe car. Secure the right job. Protect your kids at school. Do your homework. Check off the list as it goes on and on. I think Satan ultimately wants us as Christians to stay in this safety box. I fall for it constantly and think that this is purely the good life and what is wrong with that?

Life can easily become a “safety dance” because we love to justify our security and dance around what is behind it.

God wants something different from us.

He wants to unleash us in a way that he unleashed his son for us. 

John 14:6 Jesus made it pretty clear about the path. And it ain’t easy.

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

If we are truly going to take this call seriously we must step out of this box, dance differently and do work that takes us into the wild. I’m learning that it doesn’t mean you have to quit doing all of those things I mention above. They are good things and I believe God blesses them as long as we don’t worship them and hide behind them.

My modern-day fictional suburban hero, Lloyd Dobler, said in the movie Say Anything,

I’m looking for a dare to be great situation.

Let’s take Lloyd Dobler’s advice. Let’s get dangerous and seek God’s greatness. Let’s seek greatness in the way Jesus truly calls us.

May you have the passion and bravado of Ernest Hemingway and the faith and sensibility of C.S. Lewis in your journey to dance freely.

 

What dreams are you holding back on because it feels risky or perhaps dangerous? 

I love watching legal dramas, especially in movies.  Most arguments by the defense come down to proving one thing, a person’s motive.

Motive: Noun. Meaning: 1.  Something that causes a person to act in a certain way, do a certain thing, etc.; incentive
motive.

A case rests on proving a defendant’s motive to commit a crime.  It is hard sometimes to prove in a court of law but the drama of understanding someone’s emotions leading into actions is powerful to watch unfold.  Whether it is A Few Good Men, A Time To Kill, or To Kill A Mockingbird, motive is all that matters in court.

And as in life…

Motive is all about the “reason” we do what we do, positively or negatively.

I hadn’t really thought about what this meant to me until reading this passage.

“All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.” Proverbs 16:2 (emphasis added)

It made me more aware that I can’t fool God.  I can fool others and even myself but ultimately God knows what I am really up to whether good or bad.

Am I really giving “decisions” in life to the Lord?  What is my motive for the way I treated that person at work today?  What is my motive for asking someone to help me do something?  Did I say something about myself that gave the listeners a better view of me?  Did I tell the joke just so people would laugh and think I’m a funny guy?  Why?  Well, every day my motive is in question.

I am a phony, poser, fake, etc. until I come to terms with this.

Ask yourself the hard questions about the motive behind why you do what you do.  

Give permission to your trusted friends to question your motive if they don’t already.
Don’t fool yourself because God knows what is truly in your heart.

The good news in Proverbs comes in the next verse.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

My challenge is to go to God with my motive to truly understand it.  If you don’t completely understand it, pray.  By trying to understand it, I give it to Him.  Ultimately God will lead me on the path that He desires.  His path is greater than mine.  His story is bigger than mine.

I have learned that God brings out the best in us when we give our motive to him. 

Give it to Him and may your “motive” be genuine, honorable, and committed to the Lord.  His plans will be yours and they will be great.

“I’m fine”

If you have ever seen the movie Elizabethtown, the main character repeatedly says “I’m fine” when it is obvious that the world is crumbling around him.  Despite it not being the best movie and driven far too much on a soundtrack, I have always related to him.  Like that character, with a world crumbling and shaking around me, I tend to just dig in and trust in myself, not God.  That gets me nowhere.  Truth is, I’m starting to feel the weight of this internal job change.  At this moment I’m doing 2 jobs but trust me if you understood the situation I am so thankful to have a job.  The irony is that I love the challenge.  Quite sadistic, huh?

A mentioned casually to a friend yesterday that “If you ever hear me say ‘I’m fine’ please feel free to hit me and prod me one more time.  I’m most likely not.” Men in particular have a way of doing that.  When asked how we’re doing we say things like “Living the dream”, “feeling the flow” or whatever comes to mind.  I simply say “I’m fine.”

I’m writing this at 4am and can’t sleep, which makes night #3 of this happening this week.

This night was different.  I woke up to God’s whisper.

“Trust in me.”

This week I read again in Proverbs 3: 5-6 (NIV)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

I will rest in that.

Life is much easier the sooner we all can realize that…

A.  God is in control, not us.

B.  We can’t do this alone.

Like my situation, your situation is unique and each day will have its own challenges.  Trust in Him.  No need losing sleep about it like me.

What about you?


PS My wife Brooke has been so wonderful, encouraging and prayerful throughout this process.  Coming home everyday to see my her and my little girls smiling faces just helps me remember how God’s story goes.

And enjoy the Elizabethtown trailer if you have never seen it.