Posts Tagged ‘petra’

Lately, I’ve been having some trouble sleeping. It’s not surprising given all that’s going on. The dialog going on in my head is the problem. I try to pray but the combination of fatigue and distraction make it difficult to concentrate. I think about all that is going on in the world and all that I am hearing from so many quarters, from the uninformed to the informed that I doubt are telling me the truth. I think of the death toll. It’s small compared to even things like the flu and so I wonder why the lockdown? At the same time, I realize that any loss of life is hard and affects many. I start to wonder if I’ll ever just be able to take my wife to dinner, sitting in a restaurant again, and how in the midst of social distancing if we’ll ever be allowed to worship together. I know it’s only been about a month and a half, but on the other hand it’s been a month and a half. There was a big protest at our capitol here in Pennsylvania. The usual suspects are condemning them, but a little voice in my head wonders if they’re right. I hear business moguls talking about prevention methods that sound more like Nazi Germany or number of the beast than the America I know and want to live in. I wonder who, if anyone is behind this mess and what should be done to them if they’re found out. I think of friends and family in business who will have a very hard time weathering this storm. What can I say? Right now inside my head can be a very scary place, especially in the middle of the night. Add to that the condemning voice that wonders what kind of man of God would be wrestling with this, and you might understand the insomnia.

But it’s about this time that they prayers break through, and I hear other words. “David, David,” (think Martha, Martha, if you’re familiar) “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.” It’s the story of an overwrought hostess, who is trying to get all her ducks in a row when she notices her sister and main helper, Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus, hanging on His every word and Martha is irate, so irate that she goes to yell at the guest of honor. The above phrase was His response to her and, I think, to me. See the bottom line is most of the thoughts above are none of my business. If there is a conspiracy, the conspirators have already been caught by the ultimate righteous judge. He has all of this under control and none of it is my job.

What is my job is the one thing, the thing that Mary chose. Sitting at the feet of Jesus. See what our world needs right now is Jesus. Not conspiracy theories, not panicking preachers calling everything out. No the world needs what (who) it has always needed. We need Jesus and in this time of separation, we need people who are creative and who know the technology, doing what it takes to share His love. In short this is my one thing. In a sea of things over which I am powerless, this is the thing that I can do, so this is what I must do.

After this, I slept.

It’s an expression I find myself using all the time. “In the ideal world this would happen or that would happen.” The ideal world is this mystical place where all the stars align and everything goes perfectly, every time. I’m here today to tell you that there is an ideal world and people are dying to get there. Unfortunately that’s the only way to get there. The ideal world is called Heaven and this ain’t it. Here on earth, things are often less than ideal. Things go wrong, or just don’t line up the way they should. There are problems and struggles, annoyances and catastrophes. We clearly do not live in the ideal world and the question to be considered is what do we do with that?

Some tend to wait until everything lines up and things are as close to ideal as they can possibly be. While that is the optimal place to get things done, life doesn’t often work out that way. Fortunately there is a better solution—that is to get to work when things are less than ideal. Of course we want to take full advantage of ideal situations when they occur, but success is often found when we buckle down when things are less than ideal and do it anyway.

Think about the people we admire most. Why do we admire them? Because everything was easy and everything went their way? No. Because they came up against tremendous obstacles, persevered and overcame them. People so often assume that the blessing of God on a person’s life is revealed in the ease of their lives. This negates the examples of people like Moses, David, Paul and even Jesus. God never promised an ideal world on this side of the grave (well at least not since we blew it in the Garden) what He promised was to go with us through the world we have.

This world is not ideal, but great things are still possible and those of us who stay in the fight, follow our Lord, walk in faith and persevere are best suited to point people beyond this world to the One who will take us to the ideal world.

In the mean time keep at it! You’re not alone.