Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Warren Spahn, Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher for the Milwaukee Braves, was once asked by a sportswriter if he ever felt more pressure than when he pitched in the World Series. Spahn said 'well there was the Battle of the Bulge'. That was the largest and bloodiest battle America fought in World War II. It was a major German counter attack against the Allied forces in Europe. 800,000+ men participated and over 19,000 Americans died. Warren was there.
He was the winningest pitcher in his era of baseball, but pitching in the the World Series, the goal of every hurler who ever threw the ball, was just another game when compared to the horrors of war that Warren Spahn knew. I like his answer. It keeps things in perspective. We need to remember to do the same.
What are you going through today? So much of what we worry about is of little eternal consequence. It might just be time to lighten up.
Monday, April 19, 2010
How important is it to be on track, to be in the right place at the right time? Very important! A friend of mine has often said; "The wrong road never does become the right road." You need to be where you are supposed to be.
My mother's family owned a railroad in South Carolina. Before you assume I come from money realize that our R.R. was only 4 miles long, went forwards to Due West and backwards to Donalds. My grandfather went to the big RR conventions and once told the owner of Southern Railway, who had many miles of track, "Your RR may be longer but mine is just as wide". Once a cow got on my grandfather's track, but the loud high pitched whistle couldn't chase him off in time. Naturally the farmer complained to my grandfather about the loss of his cow who in turn chewed out the engineer. Ole Charley Hawthorne, the engineer, responded very apologetically but then said to my grandfather, "But Mr. Bob, I didn't chase that cow down through the woods and run over him!".
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can cost us a lot. The moral of the story is if the cow hadn't been on the track he wouldn't have gotten hit. He may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, but we need to be in the right place at the right time so that the good thing we are supposed to find will find us!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Often folks who should experience and enjoy the presence of the Lord don't and don't know why. Many times it is because they are living in the 'presence of men' instead of in the presence of God.
Notice this Psalm:
"Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion From the strife of tongues" (Psalms 31:19-20).God consciousness is something that must be cultivated to have on a continual basis. Down through the ages men and women have cloistered themselves away from society, attempting to live in the presence of God, but that doesn't usually work. The reason is that 'you' are still there even when cloistered away. Just because many people aren't close by to make you angry or jealous or resentful, doesn't mean that you aren't still 'angry, jealous, or resentful'! The real challenge is to live before Him while living with and/or around 'them'. As the Psalmist wrote:
"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over" (Psalms 23:5).
Interestingly enough, Psalm 23 describes the goodness of our Shepherd who provides us with all we need, (I shall not want), give us rest in places of beauty and bounty, (makes me lie down in green pastures), provides us with true refreshment, (leads me besides still waters), recovers our vitality, (restores my soul), also, has revealed that the place where we are anointed and where our cup runs over is at a table prepared for us "in the presence of our enemies".
The challenging arena where we cultivate His presence is in the presence of the sons of men as we learn to trust God and become more concerned about what He thinks then what men think. It is time to stop being inhibited and become inhabited.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
C.S. Lewis once complemented a friend by describing him this way: "You saw at once he was the sort of man who welcomed attacks on his own favourite beliefs and who was ready to give his whole attention to what you said without any irrelevant consideration of who you were. He was very fair and patient in discussion and talked for truth not victory."
Love for the truth is essential to anyone who aspires to greatness regardless of what side of the argument one lands on. Truth is blind in a sense and should be. It doesn't have one eye open to adjust to a political persuasion, a particular ethnic group, a person's pride, position, or any thing else. In the profound words of Carolina Panthers head football coach John Fox, "It is what it is!".
Truth has a life of its own and cannot die. Philosophies, opinions, ideas, ideologies, dogmas, positions, arguments, come and go. Some of them, like Communism, appear to prevail but eventually they crumble because ultimately, as the Apostle Paul wrote in II Corinthians 13:8, you can do nothing against the truth.
Sir Winston Churchill said, "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened". Do you have a love for the truth, or do you have to win? If you win at the expense of the truth you could lose more than you know. You could lose your very soul.