5 “If you have raced with men on foot
and they have worn you out,
how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble in safe country,
how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan? (NIV)
In my 30 yrs of life I have noticed times when I feel like I am going nowhere. It’s like I’m stuck in neutral even though I’ve got it in a straight 6 and I’m revving up, burning Gas, and pushing hard, but I still occupy the same place in the road of life. It is actually not until recently that I found out the secret to these humdrum periods of life and just in time also. In the scripture above God speaks to his servant Jeremiah and collectively to all of his servants today. Sometimes in the normal “good ole” days we will complain about our jobs and our positions in life and how hard and misunderstood we are. You know those times when we reflect on all the lost dreams and regrets. We feel a little stirred when we turn on the TV and see a person who has money and fame and ultimately the great ” pie in the sky” but they are throwing their proverbial “pearls” to swine. “If I had” fills our vocabulary and we get depressed and melancholy. It is sad but we’ve all been there. Yet God is showing us a very important lesson about growing with greatness. It is about what you do on normal days to prepare for the troubled times it is the mundane times that make all the difference.
For fear of being labeled a geek I think the perfect example is found in the STAR WARS saga. In the first movie, we see Luke Skywalker bored and tired of living in the desert with Uncle Owen and Aunt Paru. Luke knew he was destined for more. He knew how to fly and maintain robots. He was trained to fend off Sand people he would go into town and hear stories about space travel. He had a kind heart but he was no Jedi. Even when he was sent to rescue the princess he didn’t fight Darth Vader. He wasn’t prepared for that type of action yet. Luke had many trials and much training to endure before he was ready to face Vader. Now here sit I (yes this is the part where I do a decent impersonation of Yoda) and think about my life and how even now it seems I’m at a standstill. There does not seem to be a battle raging. I’ve checked my quest book and thus far, no dragons to slay, demons to vanquish and in the words of that great old hymn “all is well with my soul.” Yet this is where strength and discipline are developed because its in these humdrum seasons Christ is preparing me and teaching me to be a better fighter, a better warrior, and a “better get in there and get the job done right” person. In the normal days is when we need to pray harder, study the Bible just a little bit deeper and yearn for Heaven just a little bit more. All too many times in our “normal” lives we fold our arms on our chest sit back, let life pass by and wish for life just to be more exciting. Then Life happens; the phone call comes of a loved one in the hospital; we get a bad performance review or a bad grade and we are sideswiped. This sends us reeling into depression,sadness, fear and doubt. We stumble at the first sign of a demon or bad day. we begin to pray “Why God?” and we frantically leaf through the pages of the Bible and if in ten minutes we don’t get anything we hang our heads down and write-off God’s silence as either sovereign will or consequence of disobedience. The truth is, as my wife who is playing a game of Sudoku by my side tells me, We are so dramatic !! We want God to give us sage advice in our troubled times knowing all along if we had been reading our Bibles and taking in gold nuggets of the good book, we would have found the answer or the comfort we need.