The Man in the Hole

There’s this story I heard once of a man in a hole.

As he walked down the path, he suddenly fell.

He fell into a hole.

It was a very large hole, a very dark pit.

The walls were steep, the bottom was rocky.

There was no way out and no one to help.

A doctor came by, but didn’t know what to do.

So, he wrote a prescription and threw it right in.

A preacher walked by, and thought he knew best.

So, he prayed him a prayer, God would do the rest.

A friend came by and he knew what to do.

He jumped in the hole, now he was stuck too.

“What are you doing? Now we’re both stuck,”

Said the man in the hole.

Said the friend to his friend,

“I’ve been here before, this isn’t the end,

I know the way out.

Here, take my hand.”

Resolved.

Every year when New Year’s Eve comes around, I realize that I haven’t thought of any resolutions to make for the upcoming year. At that point, I generally say to myself, “Ah, forget it, resolutions are stupid and impossible to keep anyway”.

For the last few years, I have been using the same resolutions and building upon them each year. These were originally inspired by the resolutions of the well-known 18th century American theologian, Jonathan Edwards. This year, I am using the same resolutions from last year, only again slightly altered and improved upon to reflect my ever changing life.

I resolve:

  • to do whatever I believe is most for God’s glory and for my good.
  • to do my duty for the good of mankind
  • to always take risks and live as if it were the last hour of my life.
  • to study the Bible steadily, frequently, and continually.
  • to spend time in stillness, quiet, and in His presence each day.
  • to ask myself at the end of each day, week, month, and year, “Could I have done any better?”
  • to act as if I am not my own by fully and completely God’s.
  • to never speak badly about anyone, but to instead speak life.
  • to do all the good I can. By all the means I can. In all the ways I can. In all the places I can. At all times I can. To all people I can. As I ever can. (And, no. John Wesley actually never said this.)

On top of all of of these, of course, I add in the obligatory exercise more, eat healthier, save money, and grow in my relationship with God and others.

Joy

I’m beginning to believe
That joy comes in many forms.
Laughing with friends and traveling far,
Bright warm sun on icy cold morns.
Red coffee cups and exciting thoughts,
Sleeping till noon and brand new socks.

It comes in the stillness,
The quiet of day.
It comes in the screaming,
The crying and pain.
Sometimes it comes silently,
Thankfully, tearfully,
Slowly.

But sometimes it comes
In those in-between moments.
In the breath between kisses,
Hidden smiles, stolen glances.

It’s found in the melody
Of a well sung song.
It’s found at the end
Of a road traveled long.

Joy comes in the form
Of a hope and a dream.
In the gentle, still flow
Of a wandering stream.

I’m beginning to believe
That joy comes in many forms.
Words that speak life and colors on canvas,
Brand new starts and second chances.

From Formula to Relationship

“Our false self demands a formula before he’ll engage; he wants a guarantee of success; and mister, you aren’t going to get one. So there comes a time in a man’s life when he’s got to break away from all that and head off into the unknown with God. This is a vital part of our journey and if we balk here, the journey ends.

Before the moment of Adam’s greatest trial God provided no step-by-step plan, gave no formula for how he was to handle the whole mess. That was not abandonment; that was the way God honored Adam. You are a man; you don’t need me to hold you by the hand through this. You have what it takes. What God did offer Adam was friendship. He wasn’t left alone to face life; he walked with God in the cool of the day, and there they talked about love and marriage and creativity, what lessons he was learning and what adventures were to come. This is what God is offering to us as well. As Oswald Chambers says,

There comes the baffling call of God in our lives also. The call of God can never be stated explicitly; it is implicit. The call of God is like the call of the sea, no one hears it but the one who has the nature of the sea in him. It cannot be stated definitely what the call of God is to, because his call is to be in comradeship with himself for his own purposes, and the test is to believe that God knows what he is after. (My Utmost for His Highest, emphasis added)

The only way to live in this adventure—with all its danger and unpredictability and immensely high stakes—is in an ongoing, intimate relationship with God. The control we so desperately crave is an illusion. Far better to give it up in exchange for God’s offer of companionship, set aside stale formulas so that we might enter into an informal friendship.”

(from Ransomed Heart: http://www.ransomedheart.com/daily-reading/formula-relationship)

Losing Control

I find myself grasping for control sometimes. A lot actually. But over the past year I have learned a lot about losing control. Mostly by force really.
But losing control is when we learn to trust. Maybe God wants us to give up control of things because he is in control and cannot control if we have such a tight grip of things. Give up control to God in grace and faith. Someday, if you haven’t already, which I bet you have, you will be forced into a situation that you absolutely cannot control by any means (where I find myself right now). That’s helplessness. But that’s when we need to trust the most. I call it helpless trust. There is peace in submission as I have discovered lately. His control and his will is Infinitely better than ours.

Sit back, let it go, and surrender your will to a God who promises more than you can ever hope or imagine.