Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I Get An Attitude Adjustment

If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses?  And if in a safe land you are so trusting, what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? – Jeremiah 12:5

Jeremiah was complaining about all the wicked who prospered and were even, apparently, planted by God and allowed to take root.  It seemed to the prophet, as it often seems to us, that God has a strange sense of justice.  Sometimes the Lord has about enough of whining.  Jeremiah had experienced some conflict with various members of his family out in the village of Anathoth.  He was going to have to confront the men of Jerusalem.  He was going from minor league persecution up to the Majors.  God says to Jeremiah, and to us, I think, that we have not had nearly as much trouble as we will have.  Wait, does the Lord think we will be somehow comforted by this?  Is God channeling R. Lee Ermey? 

I am going to veer off into the field a bit.  A lot of us seem to prefer the certainty and security of bondage to the uncertainty and opportunity of freedom.  People who start their own businesses are braver than I am.  Wage-slavery appeals to me.  I really don’t mind working for the man so long as those checks come in every couple of weeks.  It helps that the work I do is something I happen to enjoy, but I have worked and would work again just for the security if it came to that.  

Yet, I know that outside of Christ, there is no security.  Nor are there any guarantees that because I am a Christian, no matter how devout and obedient, that my earthly life is going to always go to suit me.  Knowing that, I have a choice.  One might try to build “pile”, to use a term from Allan Quatermain, as a bulwark against life’s vagaries and setbacks.  Another may say that he will, like Blanche DuBois, rely on the kindness of strangers.  I believe in making good use of opportunities and of realizing there’s at least a chance I might live to be too old to work, but I also know that trusting in “a safe land” is an illusion.   Youth, strength, health, wealth, power, etc., all these things are passing away.  Enjoy them while they last.  The danger is that I become so enamored of them that I try to cling to them after their time has passed. 

God reminds me that reality is, and that He is.  I can complain if I like, but it is only going to wear me down that much more quickly.  I can face it.  I can whine about it.  I can face and whine about it.  I can do what I have to do and trust, not in safety and security, but in the wisdom, grace and goodness of God. 

The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands.  For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness (Isaiah 57:1-2). 


Rick said...

Amen, brother.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

God is doin' a great job when it comes to adjusting my attitude...considering what he has to work with.
Or perhaps I should say whom, because I rarely get to say it.

mushroom said...

It seems easy for me to get out of tune.