I pulled up my home page; USATODAY for my morning dose of news. On the front page there were 5 (count them) pictured articles about a fictitious doctor being killed off on a fictitious TV show. I don’t watch the show but I clicked on the video since it was such a big deal in the news. The fictitious doctor was hit by a tractor trailer and died a fictitious death. The next video came on and it was a picture of a real tractor trailer that crashed into a real car carrying 5 real women who were in college to be real nurses. I went back to the main page. There was no mention of the 5 real students – but still the 5 pictured articles about the fictitious doctor.
I understand how news works. Stories come and go and they are forgotten. But where is our treasure? Where are our hearts? Where is our hope? Are we really a society that cares more about the fictitious than the real?
Colossians 2:2-4 (NIV)
2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.
Many streams wind their way through Lancaster County Pennsylvania. Due to the terrain, the streams wind around sometimes so close that they almost touch. Looking at a map it seems a little ridiculous that they wind so much. If the terrain was flat, it would be easy to shorten them by getting rid of the loops.
I mapped out one stream – the Mill Creek winds a total of 26.7 miles. If all the loops and turns were removed and it ran a straight line, it would only be 16.3 miles. Not quite half but a significant drop.
But why? What difference does it make whether it runs 16, 26 or 50 miles. Sure it takes up more real estate but it adds beauty and character along the way. What difference does it make if it takes the water longer to reach it’s destination? Do we always need to be concerned with efficiency and speed when we are traveling?
Our lives make a lot of turns. We have setbacks and turns. We have rapids and quiet slow periods. We have rocks and dams and falls. But we keep going and all those challenges add beauty to who we are.
Be blessed in your turns today. Don’t worry about the speed with which you travel. Enjoy the beauty of the journey.
Exodus 3:17-19 New International Version (NIV)
17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’
18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has metwith us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrificesto the Lord our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him.
I was created by my mother to reproduce; I assume to be her legacy. But I was a failure from the start as it was learned that I was not fertile. I was removed from my mother immediately (again I assumed because I had no worth to her). What good is an infertile being to it’s mother? After being loaded in a dirty truck I was put through harsh showers and abused by harsh lights and belts only to end up in a dark cold box where I was cold and alone. What had I done to deserve this?
Again I was moved, lifted, boxed and moved again only to end up in another cold place where I sat for days, possibly weeks. After one more move I found myself in the worst predicament of my life – in boiling water! God, I cried, why am I being tortured when all I ever wanted was to grow up to be like my mom?
In the intense boiling water I became harden. My once loose flexible self became hardened to life. I could absorb hits and bumps and I fought back. I wasn’t going to take the abuse anymore and be broken like some of my friends. Children grabbed at me and laughed. They abused me with dyes and stickers and markers. They laughed and taunted me. They left me out on the ground and then brought me back inside to the cold torture again. Why? I remained hardened and angry at the life I was given.
The next day I was removed from the cold again and slammed against a hard surface! More abuse. It took several hits but I finally gave in and broke. My skin was pulled off and I laid exposed and cut apart into pieces. That was the end. I never became like my mother. I never lived to know her. I had no offspring. I had no legacy. I was a failed, abused, tortured infertile being with no purpose! What a sorry life. What a sorry end. . . .
I never understood my calling. I never realized that I turned out exactly the way my master wanted me to be. I never realized that all the trials I went through were required for me to become the creation that I was meant to be. What I thought was torture was really preparing me and forming me into my destiny. What I counted as loss was really my master’s will. What I counted as abandonment was actually the fruitfulness that I was meant to be – I brought joy to people. I brought nourishment to people. I brought happiness to children. I had an important mission all along but I couldn’t see it. I never understood and only looked at what I thought I should be. How could I have missed the most important realization of what I was meant to be?
Why do we live in sorrow for what we have failed when God has a much bigger plan for us? Why do we fight against the plan for our lives?
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”