This is one of my blogs from 2018. I hope you enjoy and I will bring a new one tomorrow!
What’s important to you? Is it to have a career that fulfills you? Is it having a family? Is it having a relationship or choosing to be single? What about money? How much does it affect your life? What do you strive for? Is it power, wealth, control? Do you judge people or not? I guarantee you that there is not a single human being on this earth that doesn’t feel one of the above items I’ve mentioned is important and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, what happens when we put ourselves acting as God? When I look at social media, it amazes me how many people lash out at one another. They call each other names, belittle them, and judge each other over opinions.
God gave us all the unique ability to think. He provided us with brains and most of the time we use them. However, we don’t think through our actions. We assume things about people without ever knowing the facts. The bully in school? Have you ever wondered what kind of home life that child had? The sexual assault victims, have you ever wondered what those acts of violence did to the men, women, and children that those acts were inflicted upon? Sure we hide things from the outside world. But some wounds never heal. The outer layers may appear to have healed but the inner layers are deep with cuts and sores that never seem to get better.
I watched “The Shack” recently. All I can say is that movie really made me think about my own relationship with God. I judge more than I should. I haven’t been completely honest with myself and I can be a coward when it comes to my faith. I say I forgive someone and I really do try to do that, but sometimes, the hurt is so strong that just because I say the words, “I forgive you”, the reality is that I need to truly let the hurt go and that can be really difficult.
Learning that God is in control and lets us think we call the shots can be a humbling experience. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does God appear to let tragedies and evil get hold of us? Folks, there are no right answers to this. If there were, we wouldn’t endure the hardships but for every bad thing that occurs in this world, God does bring light and hope to all of us. He brings new growth when lands have been destroyed. He brings life to things that have since died. He uses the poisons in our society, to work with other elements and things that bring healing. Things that we never would have imagined working for the greater good.
As a society, we are all a mess. We go to work and get lost in the day. We overlook those who most of us don’t even acknowledge. We think we know answers to things and yet we haven’t begun to ask the questions. We choose to be the judge but what happens when the tables get turned? We tend to panic. We don’t want to deal with the repercussions of our choices. What is the last thing that you remember thinking that you knew the answers to only to find out how wrong you really were?
For me, I thought I knew exactly what was going on in someone’s life I cared about. And for the most part, I did. But when I found out the whole truth, I was floored. I couldn’t believe what I had heard. That person made decisions based on lies. This, in turn, led others to make their decisions based on lies and the cycle just got out of control. There was no sense of reason to justify their actions. Anger set in. It’s never a good thing to make decisions when you’re mad. Yet decisions were made.
Time can be your best friend or your most dangerous enemy. We tend to blame God for things that happen in our lives and we don’t want to deal with our own emotions. It’s easy to blame God for what went wrong. It can be VERY difficult to move forward and not dwell on the negative energy. Sooner or later, the negativity can drown us. It can be what suffocates us into a world of pain, sorrow, and eventually even death.
So how do we identify what is important? We have to re-evaluate ourselves. Ask yourself what you can take with you when you leave this earth? If you answered nothing you are right and wrong all at the same time. We can’t take material possessions with us. We can, however, take solace in knowing that God has a big, beautiful, confusing plan for all of us to live by and sometimes it’s so painful not being able to know why things happen. We can leave a legacy for those left behind. As Christians, we have to learn how to not be so hypocritical with each other. We preach about not judging, not stereotyping, and a slew of other problems that we all struggle with. We talk about racism but have any of us ever imagined what it would be like to walk in a person of colors’ shoes? There was a movie years ago with C. Thomas Howell and James Earl Jones called “Soul Man”. In the movie, a young white man took a lot of tanning pills to get into Harvard and pass himself off as black or African American. He got a taste of what living as a man of color is like but when James Earl Jones said that he had learned a great deal, C. Thomas Howell replied that “he had not. Because he could always go back to being white whereas those of color could not.”
God gives us a taste every day. For those of us with white privilege, we can’t begin to imagine what others go through on a regular basis. We will never truly understand until we’ve walked in their shoes. I pray that we, as a nation, can find a way to coexist without thinking one race is better than the other. We all bleed the same color – red. Our world is not the same as our neighbor’s world. Every single one of us has a story and sometimes those stories are varied because our circumstances and situations vary from person to person.
If you ever want a taste of different worlds, look around you. I guarantee you that you will find different cultures, different ethnicities, different viewpoints, all over the city and country. Some of you will have the opportunity to travel and you will find even more areas where God is at work. As I’ve traveled over the years, I have had the incredible experience of seeing other cultures in their worship, their treatment of each other, and in their everyday lives. God is the only one who can see how we all truly live. But if we look for ways in ourselves to live as if we were being judged right now by God, how would we choose to be? What would be important to us and what would not?
The bottom line is that we are all important to God. We may look at the world through materialistic eyes but God looks at the world as if we are unique creations. We are all his works of art and we are all beautiful. God isn’t trying to punish the world. In fact, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we are doing that for him. We are all making decisions that affect others. Sometimes those decisions are positive and sometimes those decisions have negative, lasting effects that fester. God truly is love and peace. The question then becomes are we willing to let God’s peace and light flow through us?
My New Year’s resolution is pretty simple. I’m vowing to get a closer relationship with God and stop being so hypocritical, of course, lose weight, get through these classes and find a decent paying job and more important than finding a decent job, learn to be happy with what I have and stop the negative energy.
It’s a good thing that God doesn’t need to be reminded of resolutions. I certainly wouldn’t want God’s job. I have a hard enough time trying to remember names in many of the communities I work in but knowing every single person on this earth, their ancestors, and descendants, and knowing each of us intimately…..now that’s a job that takes some serious skill. Each of us is important. Don’t let the very important things in life slip away.
Have a wonderful New Year and God’s blessings and peace to you all!