Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Way Things End Up

This morning I woke up feeling very thoughtful. I was re-analyzing past decisions in light of where I am now, trying to see if, in the current light, past cloudy decisions are any clearer.

(Oh wow. Even as I write this there are 2 guys next to me at Starbucks discussing the same decision I was analyzing.)

I started thinking about my direction in life, and where I am now in comparison to where I thought I was going to be. Obviously they don't line up well.

I notice that young people have such a confidence that they are going to change the world. They are going to leave their mark on history. I remember thinking that way, but it seems like those intentions evaporate. Reality quietly sets in and hardens like concrete, to the point that the energy necessary to break out is too great for us and we settle for what is, rather than what could have been.

Is this just a lifestage thing? Is anyone else my age feeling this? Is everyone feeling this?

It seems it is a pattern with so many things in my life:

Our old church started so strong and ready to change the world, and ended (for us) with hurts, distrust, division, and sorrow. (on the mend)

Our marriage started blissfully, but guess what, it got hard! We went through some really tough patches. Praise God we are still together (on the mend).

When I started my career, I was hot stuff! (Ha!). I was fast, accurate, conscientious and committed! It's been a while now since I've felt even a little warm! (ha ha)

My video ministry at New Hope Mililani restarted a year and a half ago with an explosion of activity and plans. Here I am a year later struggling to maintain status quo.

Plans and dreams seem to corrode. What was shiny clear and new becomes battered, rusted and weathered.

Isn't that one of the laws of thermodynamics? That things tend to deteriorate unless energy is added to them?

The only thing that is stable and unchanging in my life is my relationship with the Lord. He has been a constant through all the changes and stresses in life, a source of comfort and wisdom. He is a friend like no other, who draws near to me in times of trouble or joy.

Some of you may be sarcastically thinking "...must be nice to have a perfect imaginary friend.", or you are surprised by the personal "relationship" terms I use when talking about God. I know. There are all manner of crazy ideas and suspect motivations out there. All I can say at the moment is that the presence of God's Spirit feels very real, the wisdom I apply seems to work, and the character issues He reveals to me are not my own ideas. I understand myself, others and the world better and I find fulfillment in pleasing God in my heart and actions. I wish I would do that more consistently, but I have a foe, my old wayward nature.

From the beginning we are independent creatures, not submitted to God. We are born that way, each one. Our waywardness causes a rift between us and God. I suspect that is one of the reasons the best of intentions always seem to deteriorate into something less than ideal. The Bible calls it sin and it is a disease we all have, but many don't even know it, or they hear the diagnosis and deny it. It is a terminal disease. For God to remain perfect he must punish sin. For all of us, that's bad news because the punishment is death!

Here is the good news. God has taken the punishment we deserved and applied it to His Son Jesus who lived a perfect life, and satisfied the requirement of justice. He died from our terminal disease, then God broke the power of death over man and raised Jesus from the dead. What remains is for us to admit we are wayward, agree to the transaction, and restart a new life with God.

Each person has to decide for themselves. No one can decide for you, and just like in our recent ballot question voting, a blank vote is counted as a no.

You can decide how the most important decision in your life ends up. All it takes is a sincere conversation with God. Tell Him you know you've been living independently from Him and you want to accept his offer of Jesus and start a new relationship submitted to Him. That is when your new life begins.

For me and my family, it was the best and most important decision we ever made. It didn't make us perfect, but it freed us from the burden of our sin and enabled us to live new lives.

I encourage you to consider for yourself what you will do with God's offer. Decide now, or start your journey of discovery to see if what I've written here is true. It is the most important, significant, eternal decision you will ever make.

This time, you get to decide the way things end up. Choose wisely.

Wishing everyone Peace, Love and New Life,


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1 comment:

Sandy Fewell said...

I am so proud of you. Thank you for being so willing to open up to share yourself with others, especially to share your faith in such a humble way. I know God will continue to bless you and show you daily His purpose for you. Just being an understanding husband to Em and the best daddy to your boys is purpose enough, but I know God has more for you. Just be patient. He'll show you!