I do not like being patient much. Usually I am busy about accomplishing something good, yet have to be wait for everything to happen. I have learned along the way that it is what I do while waiting that can bring about the greatest benefit. While I wait, or am forced to be patient, I often discover errors in my actions or faults in my self. My discoveries have included learning that patience is a gift that helps prevent mistakes and learn lessons. These days I am much more thankful when I have to wait.
I think our society misunderstands and undervalues getting away. Sure people like to travel, but they do not know how to rest. Usually I hear about people going on a trip and all they did. And then they explain how tired they are. I like to "do" a lot of things as well, but I wonder if we remembered God's instruction to rest our getting away would be worth its effort. Are you getting away some time soon? Include time to rest and see if you return home refreshed.
Sometimes we just want what we want and nothing else matters. And I believe many try to apply this plan to faith. They form their own god to be what and who they want their god to be, but as much as this seems to work it does not. God will always be who He has always been. The truth is He is the best He can ever be and we will always fall way short in any attempt to improve Him. We think we can form a god that is better for us, but obviously have no one else in mind. And in reality we are not trying to form another god, we are trying to be our own god. We want to be in control. In the Bible God often calls people to submit to Him. He calls us to trust Him because He knows the absolute best and will do the absolute best. Today I invite you to trust the one and only God and you will soon discover nothing else matters.
Some have said "sport develops character", but perhaps more accurately "sports reveals character". I am a former player (of many team sports), a coach, a referee, and most recently a parent of a son who plays sports. I have sat in almost every seat to watch a game and I have experienced the emotions that are drawn out by a game. In recent years the news has covered stories of parents getting too involved during or after their child's game and altercations taking place. There have even been occasions of people going to jail for something they did. Now in most hockey arenas, and increasingly in other sports facilities, signs are on the wall instructing parents how to act. They are to show officials respect, remember coaches are volunteers, and that the players are children. But the message cannot be said loud enough to effect change in everyone because sport reveals character. A sign will not change who someone is inside. It might prevent how they act on the outside, for a time, but who someone truly is will ultimately be revealed. That said, sports can develop character and hopefully the children have a chance although many of their parents seemed to have missed theirs.
Romans 5.3-4 "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."
In a conversation with a friend he told me how his dad invited him and his friends to an evening in his backyard, when they were in high school, and gave them alcohol so that he could "supervise" what they would have done elsewhere anyways. He thought he was helping them in their maturing process.
Aside from what I think about his tactics I wonder how strategic we should be in our spiritual maturing process and that of our kids. Are you intentional or are you hoping for the best? Does maturity happen no matter what, or is there a need for specific attention to our spiritual growth?
The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church and told them that they should have grown up and been able to handle the meatier things of faith, but were still on milk. He was disappointed in their growth.
I hope he would not be disappointed in us.
I am preparing to speak on Sunday from 1 Samuel 17 about David and Goliath and I have been thinking about how to fight. Some have been known to go in head down and arms swinging, but David was a smart fighter. He went in with a strategy. He went in with a sling and five stones keeping his distance from the giant of a man. And he knew the battle belonged to the Lord. In the spiritual battles you face remember who the battle belongs to and go in smart.