Saturday, February 26, 2011

Out of Control

A small natural disaster created a major inconvenience here the other day. On national radar it was a blip; locally it was a rockslide.


Seven thousand tons of rock slipped off the mountain and across U.S. Highway 50 like a string of broken beads. The 20-foot swath closed the two-lane road west of Canon City for nearly a week. Commuters, tourists and delivery trucks had to reroute more than 100 miles out of their way.

Twenty feet doesn’t seem like much, roughly the length of a modern living room. But when individual boulders are themselves 20 feet across, there’s no getting around the issue.

Road crews broke, blasted and drilled the boulders into more manageable pieces before loading them into trucks. Three hundred truck loads, by the way, to clear the main artery that flows through Colorado’s Arkansas River canyon.

It doesn’t take much to stop our forward progress: a big rock, downsizing, a disabled refrigerator, a disabling illness, rumors of war, death.

How startling to discover that we are not in control.

How dare those rocks slide into our path. How dare our boss fire us. How dare we get sick now, when we’re so busy.

How dare the carefully threaded beads of my life come tumbling down around my feet and roll away.

And how glad I am - truly - that it’s not all up to me after all.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (I Peter 5:7).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

They've Come!

At last, the finches and sparrows have come to my feeder. It took a foot of snow, freezing temperatures and chilling wind, but they came.

The feeder hung outside my living room window for months while the birds skittered and scratched around beneath it, ignoring its luscious fare. Finally, when they couldn’t work things out on their own, couldn’t find enough to eat, couldn’t reach through 12 inches of snow with their twig-like legs, they looked up and there it was. Full and easily accessible.

This sounds an awful lot like my personal journey with God. Does he, in his infinite wisdom, see the storm coming and know it will work something good in my life? Does he use deep distress, frozen circumstances and chilly relationships to show me he has a better way?

Does he know that when I can’t make things work on my own, I show up at his window sill?

He’s always there, waiting there for me.

Why don’t I just go to him in the first place?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Got a bullish problem in your life?

Do not be afraid of their faces,
for I am with you to deliver you says the Lord

(Jeremiah 1:8 NKJV).

Jeremiah was a biblical prophet called by God to preach to his backsliding countrymen - not exactly a coveted career. He argued that he was just a kid, prophetically speaking, not a public orator. He might have said, “Look at these people, God. They’ll never listen to someone like me!”

But God told Jeremiah not to be moved by what he saw, not to be intimidated by the scowls, frowns and threatening looks. He encouraged Jeremiah to focus on what he didn’t see.

“I am with you,” God said.

That’s a promise we can count on today - whether we’re facing down a mob of opposition or an ocean of apathy.

Cowboys often stand around before the rodeo studying the horse or bull they’ve drawn to ride, asking others who have ridden the animal how it moves, which way it turns. Does it cut back, spin, kick? Animals, like people, are creatures of habit. They usually follow a pattern, and riders feel better prepared if they know what’s coming.

But a rider can psych himself out by focusing too much on his opponent. It’s easy to look a bull in the eye, watch it paw the ground, and let its reputation rip you apart. It’s better if a cowboy is prepared, geared up and outfitted properly with his head on straight. Then he’ll have an opportunity to ride for the full eight seconds and get off safely.

It’s the same in life’s other arenas. Where is our focus? Is it on the opposition, or our support system? Is it on the evils and accidents of this world, or our loving Creator and Defender.

Instead of allowing what we see to frighten us into a stupor, let’s remember that God is still with us today. And he is bigger than anything we may face.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Rest of the Story

“Rest. O God, I need rest.”

I’ll give you rest.


You’re tired, overloaded.

“No kidding.”

Come to me.


Here, put this on.

“Wait a minute--“

It’s mine; try it.

“But this is a …”

Learn from me.

“Learn what?”

Undemanding gentleness and humility.

“But doesn’t this mean more work?”

It is soul-rest.

“I could use that.”

Put in on; I’ll be right next to you.

“But it’s a yoke.”

My burden is light.


I am the Light of the world.

“I see.”

You will.

Matthew 11:28-30