Friday, February 23, 2007

February 23, 2007

Good morning! I realize that billions fly around fairly easily these days, but Cabela’s pulled in more than 2 billion in revenue last year and we will have a celebration today at work. That figure is more money than I can imagine, perhaps you have a better imagination for that sort of thing. It might be close to the number of cat hairs in my house. This weekend will be a good time to get the vacuum and wage war on the cat hair population.
Do you ever think that someone else had a better conversion than you did? The Apostle Paul made a very stunning conversion through meeting Christ on the road to Damascus. However, he put himself as the lowest of Christians because of his former life. The conversion you experienced may have been slower and more gradual, or it may have been very dynamic like Paul’s. I would submit to you that whichever way it happened, the change is just as exciting, just as fulfilling, and in the end will be perfect like all of the other tasks God has set for himself. That’s right; we are not in charge of the process of becoming a new creature in Christ Jesus. He alone makes all things new, not any of us. If we complain about the speed of our growth in the Christian life, then we are complaining about the one in charge. We may want to reconsider any complaining! In some of us, similar to losing a lot of weight successfully, the change may be difficult to see on a day by day basis. We may need to look from God’s point of view, or at least try. You and I will be perfected in Christ before we enter heaven; that process will take the rest of our lives and will only be completed when we meet Jesus.
It helps me to remind myself that not all of those new things will happen at once. This week the option to say “no” and set boundaries has been given to me. You might ask what would cause such a thing. Goals, my goals went out of control. I took up going to college full time and wanted also to practice writing for an hour each night, workout to get in shape, and I still like to read quite a bit. Oh, and let’s not forget that I am still working full time at Cabela’s… and I wanted to write a bestseller before leaving college, with a Master’s degree. It even went on from there. Now that I have written them down in one place and considered them from an objective point of view, I see that this is not sensible. The disasters of last week, that I alluded to in the devotional, were what might be called that proverbial straw on the camel’s back. Do you see how I had fallen into trying to be perfect in my own strength?
Goals are good things, written goals even better, but keeping them to one’s self and not seeking the advice of trusted counselors, whom God has put in our lives, to review those goals, and perhaps make the suggestion that one is “crazy”, might allow one to go too far in attempting too many things at once. None of us can earn our way into God’s favor; if we could, Jesus would have needlessly suffered on the cross for us. For some of us, it is all too easy to put incredible pressures upon our own self, it is known as stress and it’s deadly. Jesus didn’t leave us with stress and pressure; he said: "I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27

Be at peace in Christ!


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