Monthly Archives: December 2015

DWYL Pt 2: Finding the Variable

I told y’all I’d make it a series…LOL

“When times are good, be happy;
    but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
    as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
    anything about their future.” (Ecc 7:14)

You know how it goes…You’re at the New Year’s Eve service or just talking to people concerning the new year coming and this is pretty much what you hear:

“Man, 2015 was a tough year for me. I went through so many trials this year. The devil really had me down but I know this next year is going to be my year. I know that blessings will come for all the pain I went through this year…”

Of course that was the church version, but I’m sure you can translate that to any setting. The majority of people look back to this year and recount all the bad things that occurred, the issues they had to go through, the obstacles that had them down, and then they look at the coming year as that light at the end of the tunnel, that remedy to all their pain that this “evil” current year gave them.

But what if I said that wasn’t the case? What if I said that the solution to all your problems wasn’t the upcoming Jan 1st? What if I told you that the problems you have at 11:59 on Dec 31 will still be there when the ball drops at 12? What if I told you that the year won’t change anything if you don’t change first?

We are going to have problems. That’s inevitable. Jobs are lost. Friends betray. Relationships fail. People pass away. There’s no grace year where life says to us, “I’ll give you a break. See you next January.” That’s just the way it is. I’ve heard it said that everyone is either in a trial, getting out of a trial, or about to get into one. There’s nothing we can do to change that. As volatile the actual issues may be, that truth is the constant in this situation, so what is the variable? We are.

The peace we look for in the coming year is not one that deals with the problems, it comes with how we deal with the problems. It’s said that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, but truthfully if something doesn’t kill you this time and you don’t learn from it, you’ll be just as weak when it tries again. But it’s what we do with the experience, the lesson we learn from it, and the application of said lesson, that makes us stronger.

So what am I saying? Don’t fool yourselves into thinking that this next year will come with no problems. It may come with even more. But pray and hope that you can see the good in the midst, the patience that’s being worked, and the peace that can be attained in the midst of it.

Lastly, for my believers, consider this:
William McDowell recorded a song, “You Are God Alone” (forgot who wrote it). The hook sings:

You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
You are God alone

And right now,
In the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone

The song declares that BEFORE time began God was on His throne and He was God alone. And now, not only has time been created (by Him, might I add), but we have been able to even separate it into “good” and “bad” times. But what hasn’t changed? God is still on His throne and He is still God alone. Your anchor in the midst of changing winds is God. The verse quoted in the beginning calls us to consider that God is still in control. You may not know what your future holds but you know Who holds your future.

Stay blessed. Have a happy and safe new year.

-OnePurpose


Don’t Waste Your Life

Time….

It’s free but it’s priceless. We don’t own it but we have it. We can’t keep it but we can spend it. Once we’ve lost it, we can’t get it back. We delegate how it’s used. We have a limited supply yet we don’t know what that limit is. We plan what we want to do with it while in the same moment, it’s diminishing.

Okay. Enough of the deep metaphorical talk. LOL. The point is that wasted time equals wasted life. The Bible talks about how life is but a vapor. In the past two months, I’ve lost three people, one at age 21, one at 29, and the other well into his 50s. We never know when our time is up. So what do we do with that fact? We waste a lot of time with useless activities that don’t benefit us in the long run. Then we spend more time thinking about the time that was wasted instead of making up for that time. I’m sure you agree that most of us are the worst stewards of time. So how do we fix that?

I’m learning more and more how to be IN the moment. I’ve learned that I’ve lived a lot of my life on autopilot. I sit back and recline as my life passes before me. I live out the “Whatever happens, happens” saying. But what if that was one of the most popular ways of wasting your life? The good steward of time understands that we must make things happen.

“But Alan, what about God’s sovereignty? Are you trying to say we should play God in our lives?” No! Of course not. (I felt like Paul just now, ref: Romans 6:1 lol). As a matter of fact, the best way to waste your life is to not give it to God. But the life of a believer is not one where you’re sitting around twiddling your thumbs waiting for a big voice to tell you when to get up and do something. Look at Paul. He moved from place to place as he saw fit but all with the agenda to glorify God. When God needed to send him a detour, He did.

That’s how we should live our lives. Everything we do must have the chief end of glorifying God. When we read the Word, we learn about His character and what pleases Him. Once we get that, we can apply that in many ways. As we grow more and more, we’ll be able to discern better what is wise and what isn’t.

So what am I saying in a nutshell? STOP WASTING TIME! You just read this. You used time to read this. Now you have a choice. If you don’t apply it, you just wasted time. But take this and apply it and your use of time will be enhanced. As for me, that’s all the time I have for now but I feel like I’ll be continuing this…

Stay blessed

-OnePurposewasting-time