2 11 2020


Let’s face it, we are all creatures of habit. And as much as we would all be energized and enhanced by partaking fully in more regular newer adventures, there is something inside of us human beings that chooses to resist change like the Covid19 Virus. More often than not, it really has nothing to do with whether the next chapter offered us might be the very best thing that could happen to us. It seems to come back to the fact that we find a peculiar rest in our routines and repetitiveness. Unfortunately, this approach to life will kill any season of moving forward in our faith and deeper in devotion.

While discipline is essential to discipleship, so is a dedication to follow Jesus wherever He leads, doing whatever He asks, whenever He chooses to do so. This is why surrendering our agenda to the Lord is key to Christianity. This earth is not our home and as good as seasons may appear, this side of heaven, they always must come to an end. Our loved ones pass on, our kids move away, our friends relocate, our jobs come to a termination point, our houses get sold and our bodies betray us the older we get. The only thing that never changes is God’s promise to never leave us or forsake us or stop loving us. Anything else we attempt to hold on too tightly to will eventually get ripped away from our grip. This is not easily embraced, but must be acknowledged, or you will get stuck in a time warp where you will not only lose the hope of a thriving future, but become blind to the focus of today.

Miss Amelia Havisham is a character in the classic Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations. On the day she was to be married, the groom never shows up and that moment totally devastates our heroine. With her heart broken into pieces, she never takes off her wedding dress and proceeds to have every clock stopped at the precise moment she should have been betrothed. Miss Havisham never allows her wounds to heal and she spends the rest of her days locked away in a ruined mansion in the very same outfit until she dies. This is tragedy times a million.

If you choose to engage your heart in the exercise of living, you will get battered and bruised. The very same organ that reaches the heights of euphoria when all goes your way, can feel like a white-washed tomb when circumstances come tumbling down. That sense of despair can force us into a self-preservation mode where we play it so safe that we aren’t actually living at all. There is potentially great cost when you become vulnerable enough to let it all hang out. I speak as one from experience, one who confesses that I know of no other way to behave other than wearing my heart on my sleeve. Will you get let down? Absolutely! Will you be treated fair and with respect? No guarantee that it will happen even though it is only right. The choice comes down to either rolling with the flow while adjusting the load on the road or fight the oncoming tide and allow as little change as possible.

Let us revisit another literary timeless tale, “The Velveteen Rabbit.” What does it take to be real? What must have to happen so that we will be open and honest and not hide what we feel? Do we lose value when we are aged and torn and been through a war or two? Will we make the mistake of staying safe in the package even if that was not the purpose God created us for? I will always cherish the words of the “Skin Horse” when he imparts his wisdom to the stuffed Bunny.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?” “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.” “Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.” “Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?” “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That is why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

God has not created us ever to be ugly. This world is filled with unkindness, unfairness and misunderstanding. When Jesus came down to this planet, He held nothing back. Transitioning from the ultimate perfection of Glory to the deepest pits of gory, we never got anything less than all of Jesus. This is why He deserves nothing less than all of us. Obedience is not conditioned upon our signing off on the project. God is our Coach, and we are His instruments, and if His will is to be practiced here as it is in Heaven, transformation is a necessity and that won’t occur without change. Not just one little bitty remodeling mind you, but a whole renovation work that covers every inch of who we are.

The pandemic of 2020 has frozen too many of us in a place of immoveable pause. Processing is essential to adaptation, but wisdom must enlarge its borders or the drought of inactivity will cause inertia to set in. Our lives must become established on the Rock if we are going to outlast the storms blowing our way; but the road to this reality is the fruit of venturing through the clouds and not running a million miles an hour in the opposite direction. If the Lord is willing to teach us how to number our days, then we must be reporting for duty daily and not only when we deem it worth our time and effort.

Fasten your seatbelts Church! There are blizzard warnings even in places where the Bible has been adhered to. Wake up and sober up to be part of God’s solution to the pollution that sin leaves in its selfish tracks. All hands must be on deck. Every member of the Body of Christ must be ready to play the game. If the clock is ticking, then its time to boost the offense and not give in to the temptation of playing prevent defense. Change is never easy, but it must be addressed as we continue to run the race God has marked out before us. We are not home yet but we have no chance of getting there unless we run! Run to the battle and let God lead!     



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