It seems like the title is a bit odd, but humor me for a little bit. I was driving my truck to get some repairs done to it. After all, it has 151,000 miles on it and it is 16 years old right now. I keep praying for God to open my eyes to the opportunities around me, in order to allow me to accomplish His will. And I got this feeling to look around and I began to think on certain problems with the truck. The more I thought on the subject, the more I saw that man was very much like a car. You might be asking or thinking, “What the heck are you talking about? Have you gone loony tunes on me???” Bear with me…
- If you take care of your body, it will take care of you. The same goes for your car.
- If you get sick or ill, go to the doctor’s office. If your car is broke, take it to a mechanic.
- If you blow a head gasket, get to a surgeon or to a Psychiatrist. If your car blows a head gasket…just go to a mechanic. No auto Psychiatrists…at least I don’t think so, but haven’t checked California lately!? lol
I think you get my gist. I have blown my gasket several times over the years, but still trust in God to get me to the right place. It is truly odd that I know, intellectually, that I need to learn to laugh at myself and to all the boneheaded things I do. Unfortunately, that does not always translate to it actually happening. I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but I am still a work in progress.
Some people can ask for help, others just seek to figure it out on their own, but when problems get really bad other people will make those decisions for you, like it or not! Just
consider the photo where people are working on the car together. Sometimes that is a great idea because “IF” everyone is a mechanic, or very mechanically inclined, you can accomplish the Master Mind principle as annotated in Napoleon Hill’s classic, THINK AND GROW RICH. This is where several minds get together for one purpose and create another mind, which is the culmination of all the minds that are present. Unfortunately, there are more times where the numerous minds are not altogether there for the same reason or purpose, which will throw a monkey wrench into the works…your 2 hours of work became a 10 hour nightmare! Been there, done that! After all, that kind of goes without saying since my name is Murphy! You don’t get it? Here is a hint:
Do I live and breath this law, NO! But it does give me bragging rights and my entire ancestry to blame things on when things do go awry…so, that is a positive outlook, isn’t it?? lol
The point behind, most of this rambling dialogue, all this is that God is always there. Even when you think He is not. You can always talk to Him, you can always seek out what His word says. There might be nothing in there telling you how to diagnose or repair a blown head gasket, but you can determine enough to find the right people to obtain a solution to the present problem…through reason, prayer, and thoughtfulness.
Jesus is always there to hear our pleas for our cleansing that we may be whole again. Just consider the healing of the leprous man in Matthew 8:2-4. It is a gift for the asking, just like asking for a bowl of ice cream from mom, or a dollar from dad to go to the candy store. Our biggest problem is that we just don’t ask. Whether we are too scared to ask, or we just don’t know how to ask. The bible is filled with examples of what to ask for and how to ask, we just need to learn and apply these methods. That was but one purpose Jesus came to live among us all…to aid us in our life on earth and to be an example of how we should live that we may be worthy for a life in heaven with He and the Father.
We also must beware of the fact that there is a great cost to follow the Lord Jesus. This was reiterated to the disciples, also in Matthew 8, in verses 18-22. While we must be willing to give up all things to follow Him, we are not all necessarily to do so. The problem we have (YES, I do include me!) is that we are so stuck on the things of this world. I recognize the fact that we must live in this world, even Jesus recognized this fact in Matthew 10. But though we live in this world we must not conform to the ways of this world…for example just consider all the rhetorical nonsense with respect to the present campaigning tactics. They are the same negativistic and divisive tactics as every other campaign race going on in the past. I understand that we need a release from our daily labors: cable or satellite tv, movie night, sports, etc. the list goes on and on. But at some point we begin to place those items and things ahead of God and our purpose. Do we really need that 300XL Mercedes Benz with a rag top, or could we do just as well with a KIA Soul? Are we seeking a status symbol to show we are wealthy and important? I have seen many, as even myself, where people lived beyond their means. Instead of learning from the fact that life style does not work they filed for bankruptcy and started the cycle all over again. I saw things another way and have worked at getting us out of the debt we created. There are still a number of things that can be removed from my life, but it tends to be a slow process…without ever realizing you are doing it. It becomes much clearer when you look at it on paper…or even a blog post, like this one! (Now I am not trying to create a commercial moment here, but Dave Ramsey has a great program under Financial Peace University, you might check it out if interested in cleaning up your financial life. I found it to be very informative and very compelling and very interesting.)
We are better off than many other people around us, but because we focus so much so on our own needs and wants we never notice such a thing…as we are always in need or want of something more than what we have. However, are we really better off than others around us? If so, how much so?Have we really made all of the necessary changes in our lives to stave off all those problems that happen to everyone else??
So, what do you see when you see the homeless and jobless on the side of the road and lining the streets? Do you see someone down on their luck? Someone who mad bad choices? Most of us do see these things in others, but I remember years ago someone on the side of the road who had his sign, “WILL WORK FOR FOOD,” and when prompted to do some actual work…he retorted, “Another man is coming back..?” So, he really didn’t want to work for food, eh? Because if the man was to actually stop by he would either pick him up, throw money at him, but I highly doubt they would have told him they would be back to get him. When you see an opportunity you would spring into action. Unfortunately, most people see this when they see the homeless people:
So many people will just see them as throw away people and useless people of society. Do you realize that Austin “Og” Mandino was a street person, of sorts, in the mid 1930 due to the great depression. He would go into the Library in order to stay warm and fed his mind. He later went to college, worked at a newspaper, enter the Army, became the editor of Success Magazine, and became a celebrated author. (If you ever get a chance to, pick up one of his books. Highly suggested is “THE GREATEST SALESMAN IN THE WORLD.”) People so easily give up the fight in life, I’ve seen it time and again. That does not mean they are useless, but they are broken in both heart and spirit. Funny thing is that God uses the broken in heart and spirit to do great things. YOU may be that person that helps to bolster someone’s heart or spirit in the course of your day. But in the course of their day, you could be seen as a miracle worker, of sorts! Are you feeling bold enough to touch the very soul of another?
The more I have thought about this post, in some aspects I get the very impression that God was speaking to me. You must keep in mind, that all throughout the bible we are told in various ways that:
“All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” ~Psalm 14:3
““Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.”” ~Luke 18:19
No not even pastors, priests, deacons, nor even the lowliest man on the face of the earth…we are all the same and possess the same attributes of the nature of man, which is the nature of sin! No one is protected from such a thing, except through constant, vigilant prayer, much power and help from God. But that along with fasting only gives you the tools to do better in our lives, but it does not wipe away our nature of sin. God alone through the aid of the seal of the Holy Spirit and in Jesus’ mighty name can we break such bonds that bind us to such a nature of sin. We must spend more time studying the bible, understanding the bible, remembering it contextually (in my opinion), verse studies and memory, etc. Because we are man, we inherently possess the inherent problems of man, in that, we have the nature and capacity to sin. Remember these words – ONLY GOD IS GOOD! I have had neighbors says something to the affect that, “you are a good man.” My response is usually, “no, not really.” Because I have come to the realization of how bad man can be, especially when they believe they are doing the will of their god, or believe God told them to do it! This day and age, in my humble opinion, is the worst and is getting far worse as time continues on. Just hearing the horror stories out of Europe and the previous Communist Block countries with their influx of Muslim migrants, who instead of attempting to assimilate into their new culture and surroundings…they bring the same mentality with them and attempt to force their minority views on to the majority of the population that already exist there. (But now we are going beyond the prime objective of this blog post, but I do believe you get the point.)
It comes right back to the crux of EVERY problem inherent in man, to push God out of your society, out of your family, community, or more importantly your heart…you open up a vacuum for evil to grow and fester; thus enabling it to eventually take over everything to where we will, as the world, will be in the same position that Sodom was in that caused its destruction. I recently saw a meme that said, essentially: “I don’t have to be a Christian to be a good person.” Me being who I am I responded, “But how do you determine your morals, ethics and your goodness (without some form of standard)?” Which is true, if there is no standard in order to base your beliefs upon, how can you as a person determine THAT standard as a standard? I received only two replies: 1) from a friend “consciousness” and my reply was that this was too ambiguous as well as relative to the person; and 2) “just be a good person” and again my response was similar to the first response with the addition that even the felons, murderers, pedophiles and rapists see themselves as good people, who are you to contest their assertion or disagree with them?
We as Christians have a handbook or guidebook to our lives according to which we can model our lives after; however, many of us stray wildly from that mark that we set ourselves to attain. But it is a standard, and we have a powerful and forgiving God who sent His one and only Son to be sacrificed for our sins that we should not have to make any further sacrifices other than dedicating our lives to Him by our free will choice!
The great thing is that we can change how we act, how we treat people, how we show our love for God and praise Him, how we portray His love in our lives to others around us. Our God is a great and powerful God who can do vast and mighty things through us, if we let Him do so and if we willingly participate (refer to Book of Jonah post.)
Recently, I found out a relative and another friend was diagnosed with cancer. Both of these were diagnosed with breast cancer. Cancer, like a mysterious and elusive problem in your car, can either be cured and you become one of the elite, the survivor class. Or you are not so lucky. Cancer is also like many of our weaknesses, we either get a grip and change what is happening, or we do not and give in to that particular weakness, or perhaps all of our weaknesses and let them take their toll on us. Permitting us to wallow in our weaknesses and succumb to them and our inevitable demise. However, for the most part it is a matter of your free will choice (in most cases). Cancer really is neither good nor evil, in and of itself, it just is. I does precisely what it is designed to do, which is to grow and kill off living tissue; similarly to gangrene.
Life’s turmoil, troubles, trials, tumult cannot be avoided in all instances. But we can take them in stride with confidence, knowing that God has already fought the battle for us. Though, he may not deliver us from the clutches of death, but our souls can be held in-tact thus enabling us to, one day, be reunited with our immortal bodies at the resurrection…otherwise, we will be united to eternal damnation. It is all a matter of choice, in the end! Which choice are you willing to make? Just supposing, for a moment, that God is real and that He will judge us in the end…what path would you choose?? What life-style will you choose?? What future will you choose??
Choice is both a blessing and a curse for all of us. We can choose one path that will most likely be fun, exciting, and thrilling, but will lead us to hell fire, damnation and an eternal separation from God. On the other hand, we can choose the other path that is hard, no promise of fun, no promise of a thrill, and a high probability of pain, chastisement, being an outcast, and quite literally being labeled a fanatical bible thumping lunatic. What is your choice now?? Sounds real appealing, doesn’t it?
I have read it in the book: HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS by Peter Kreeft & Ronald K. Tacelli, however, I have slightly paraphrased it as I’ve found it’s essence to be so profound:
Man is like a sword. It is to be tempered by fire, by trials, and by tribulation to test it’s strength and battle worthiness.
Just consider that, for but one moment during one of your head gasket blowing moments. Those moments are the fires, the trials and the tribulations that are testing us for our battle worthiness. Think on that, my friends.
May God Richly Bless You!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD