Human Inertia

Lex I: Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus a viribus impressis cogitur statum illum mutare.
“An object at rest or traveling in uniform motion will remain at rest or traveling in uniform motion unless acted upon by a net force.”

We may realize that physical objects have inertia, but so does our spirit. We tend to keep doing the same thing (or nothing at all) until we are “acted upon.” This almost always comes in the form of pain and/or crisis. God knows that we’re inertial beings, and that He has to act upon us to get us to change course (or have any course for that matter). Keep this in mind when your life seems calm and you are happy (in the happenstance meaning of the word).

Usually He’ll turn up the heat until you feel it. Its like the doctor always tells you, “early detection can be critical.”

Now… No wait

Just a simple observation hit me over the weekend. Why is it that when we feel there is really something we need to do, that we want to do, God always tells us to wait? But when there is something we know He tells us to do we never want to do it now.

You have probably had the experience where a new chapter in your life starts and you just can not wait to dive into the new thing with both feet. However, the timing is never right, something just is not ready.

The other side of the coin is that when you know you are supposed to go talk to someone, or attend something you would rather not so you put it off and you keep getting reminded, “Do it now!”

Good Friday

I wonder why Good Friday is not a bigger day in the church. Sometimes it is even described as the saddest day. Now, please do not misunderstand, what Jesus had to suffer was horrible. However, it is done, and was done for us. His death on the cross is the whole purpose of history after the fall. Good Friday is the greatest day in the history of the human race. His resurrection on Easter Sunday is just proof that the sacrifice made on Friday worked, that He really is the Son of God, He really has the power to be a ransom for us all. We needed a perfect sacrifice to pave (or rather tear) the way for us to commune with God. A risen savior is just a wonderful bonus (and a necessary fulfillment of prophecy).

He is risen.
He is risen indeed.

God is good, all the time

Continuing on the theme of Jesus not being safe, I think it is important to note that “God is good, all the time.” It is another one of those sayings that is easy to comprehend the first part, but we have trouble fully understanding the second.

I remember hearing once of a man whose very young daughter was deathly ill. He got together with his family and they prayed continually for her healing. A few days later she was moved out of the ICU and the father was praising God for her healing. “God you are so good,” he said. Being a father myself I can understand the terrible pain he must have been in, and how relieved when his daugheter recovered. However, after his prayer of praise, he felt God asking, “And if she had died, would I then not be good?”

There you have the problem. Had the girl died, God would not have been any less good. He does not work on our definition of good. Since God is good, all the time, everything He does is good. We often quote Romans 8:28, when things are rough, but if you can grasp that God is good, all the time, then this verse becomes obvious.

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your Name
(c)2002 Matt Redman

Is… he safe?

With the DVD release of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” I am reminded of C.S. Lewis great exchange between Lucy and Mr. Beaver. Lucy finds out Aslan is a lion and asks, “Is… he safe?” to which Mr. Beaver replies, “Safe? No of course not, but he is good.” Of course, Aslan is an allegory for Jesus Christ. It usually does not take us long to understand that exchange on the basic level. Jesus is not safe.

When you decide to give your life to Jesus as savior and Lord (Phil 3:20) you will learn that life with Him as Lord is not safe (Heb 10:31). That is the easy part. However I think many people fail to fully understand the second part, “He is good.” The problem we have, is that we do not know what “good” is. It is not our job to decide what is good. Good is not defined from our perspective.

I have often heard the question, “How can a loving God…?” The answer to that question is “How could a loving God not…” Almost everything we define as evil is not evil. It is good that we do not understand. Who are we to judge God? (Job 38) We have to understand that God’s economy works differently than our’s.

I do not claim to understand all the ways of God. However, as an example, take the tsunami disaster of almost a year and a half ago. There was such a devestating loss of life and livelyhood. But, if just one soul has been saved as a result, are we able to count the cost?

Hard work isn’t easy

Why is it so hard to do the right thing? I think its because the best (and therefore right) way is almost never the easy way.

My dad used to have a sign in his classroom that said, “Hard work isn’t easy.” He could point to it when students said, “this is hard.”

What is it about people that makes us always choose the easy route? Selfishness isn’t sufficient to explain it because we often choose the easy way even when we end up being the loser ourselves. After spending some time thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that it might be a matter of education. We cut corners because we aren’t completely familiar with how it is going to affect us. But I’m not even sure that can really answer it, because we often find ourselves purposefully ignoring the latter effects even when they are well known to us. We are so often willing to sacrifice the future for the now even knowing the future cost will be 10 times that of the now.

So it might really come down to selfishness, but it is selfishness of the “now me.” The “future me” is a different person, and one that I don’t care about nearly as much as the “now me”.

Wasted Paper and Role Reversal

My dad called me today because he just finished printing a 17 page manual for his TV remote. Its a very cool remote, and I think I should get one, but thats sort of beside the point. He called because back in the early 90’s I printed out some manual that was probably around 100 pages. Something Turbo Basic if I recall correctly. (I did mention early ’90s didn’t I?) Anyway, he got pretty upset with me for wasting so much paper and toner. He still feels bad about it, so he called to let me know he’s still sorry. I remember the incident but its not one of those things that bothers me. In fact, I think if my son did the same thing today, I’d be really upset. We’ve probably all heard that we’ll someday turn into our fathers, but it wasn’t until today that I realized that, fortunately for me, it is still a moving target.