Sunday, December 22, 2013

If the Shoe Fits...Think About It Before Wearing It

What to wear? What to wear? The saying: "If the shoe fits, wear it," should not be an absolute. There should be other conditions. Don't put on a shoe just because it fits. Look in the mirror. How does it look on you? Is the shoe appropriate for the current season you are in? Is the sole worn and no longer serve its purpose of protecting you from uneven, rocky surfaces? Is it helping you perform to the best of your ability? Is the style or character of the shoe mature enough for who you are and where you are headed? It's okay to throw out your old attitude - I mean shoe - in order to walk, run, and sprint your way along the path God has set before you. The right shoe can change your posture, length of your stride, balance and agility to maneuver around obstacles, the pace of your progression, and optimism in your next steps in life. Ask yourself, "Am I wearing the right shoe for TODAY that will take me into TOMORROW?

You Will Play How You Practice

The movie "American Hustle" was a perfect example of what happens when you are equally and unequally yoked. Mayor Carmine found in his wife his equal. She knew how to carry herself and support her husband and the position he held. Now, Irving (Christian Bale) was married to a woman that had no drive, motivation, and who did not "fit" his position in society (no matter how illegal it was). 

Going back to my previous post, know the game you are playing, what you are playing for, and how you are preparing for that game. For both men and women, know what kind of person you are, your own goals, position in life, and the kind of support you need from whomever you choose to be your "better" half. They should be just enhancement on your life, not a burden and a risk.

At game time you will play how you practiced. Just as a woman who has her mind set on catching the eye and the heart of a ball player, so must a man or woman of God first prepare themselves as the child of King, second as a man or woman of God, and thirdly as a godly husband or wife. You must put in the work. The woman looking for a ballplayer is hitting the gym, keeping her shoe and hair game on point, and sparing no expenses when it comes to traveling to away games and any body modifications she deems necessary. Likewise, a child of the King, must continue to strengthen their mind, body, heart, and spirit, never ceasing to adorn themselves with character traits befitting a king or queen, and sparing no expense of time and energy to mold themselves in the image of their Father in heaven.

All that prep you put into yourself, surely you want your "better" half to also have taken the same care and put in the same amount of work. Don't complain about the dead weight you end up dragging because the person you chose was actually the prize of the pee wee game you signed up for at the club. They are unable to support you when helping you does not directly benefit them.

That Olympic Game, the one with the big medal, endorsements and accolades, is only possible from years of training and self-sacrifice. Don't sell yourself short. Choose wisely.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Comfort or Survival: Why Do You Pray?

I was driving down my street going to work one morning and I saw birds huddled on top of a light pole. At first glance, I thought “birds”, but I looked again because they were all puffed up trying to stay warm. We learn in school how this or that animal “has thick fur and feathers to stay warm in the winter”? Now, it was 19 degrees outside. How warm is really warm? If you think about it, what people call "warm" is really comfort. We get so warm that we don’t need a coat or gloves on in the house. Some make it so warm they only need a sheet on the bed in the winter.

Animals do not have this luxury. So when we say they have thick fur or feathers to stay warm I think the truth is “their thick fur and/or feathers keep them warm enough to survive in the winter.” The two meanings are completely different. Animals react to their environment. In the summer they are more active and in the winter they are less active. How do they know the difference in seasons? Their bodies tell them – it’s frigid outside. Because of the temperature their fur or feathers grow thick and they become less active. Now, if they really stayed “warm” how we think of staying “warm”, animals would be so comfortable that their activity level would not change. They would be just as active and burn off more energy than they could replace with the limited food supply in the winter.

Now, to bring this around to us as Christians. Because this earth is not our final home, we are not to get too comfortable. When we get too comfortable we let down our guard, start removing protective articles of clothing and forget it’s actually cold and bitter outside in the world. When we pray for this or that are we doing so because our survival is being threatened or are we looking for comfort? Jesus said, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). We must not look for comfort so much that we forget we have a purpose and are bearing a burden – the commission to bring men and women to Christ.