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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Stop the planting

The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand. 
(Proverbs 12:7 ESV)

There are definitely times when I think, "What is this world coming to?"  It is as though the mess we are creating is just abounding, not getting any better. Now, don't get me wrong - I know who is in control of all this and who will win out in the end - but in the meantime, some can certainly manage to create just a bit more chaos and upset than is their fair share! Without sharing all the details, suffice it to say that our country is in a muddle where it comes to politics. The level of crime in my own hometown is multiplying rapidly, with some even joking that West Phoenix is becoming a little like L.A. when it comes to gun violence.  As long as there is chaos caused by man's wrong thoughts and intentions, we will always have some sort of evil at work in this world and that will leave some feeling a little less than comfortable or secure. Not one of God's children need feel this way, though - for he IS in control!

It was Francis Bacon who once said, "In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present." It isn't that we "need" darkness to see light - but we definitely come to appreciate it. The other day I dropped a very small screw onto a very dark carpet where we were staying. Two young boys with eagle eyes, my daughter, and I scoured that carpet and surrounding floor. Not one of us could see that screw despite our careful exploration. The darkness of the carpet, combined with the dark color and small size of the screw made it almost impossible for us to discover the whereabouts of that tiny screw. What seemed like a small matter became a huge deal - what was lost needed to be found. In the operating room, if a needle is lost, we go to great lengths to locate it - despite the small size. Why? Even the small stuff has the potential to cause us great big problems later on!

Honestly, I think this is why we don't want to let the small stuff creep into our lives - so that it doesn't give way to bigger issues down the road. It is the smallest amount of anger that is allowed to fester into a big root of bitterness that will eventually bring more relational strife than we might consider "reconcilable". This is why we are to remain "current" in our relationships - dealing with each and every "wrong" that is perpetrated or sensed by another before the sun goes down. I am not always the best at this one myself, so what I am about to say applies to me, as well. There is more value in admitting we aren't being understood, or that another has been understood a certain way, than there is in just tucking that stuff away. The former helps us "remain current" while the latter lets us begin the work of nurturing the root of bitterness and resentment.

Once something takes root, it is much harder to deal with it than it is when it is in seed form. No matter what the seed may be, the real "impact" of the seed begins way below the surface. The seed isn't going to be much "threat" until it is given fertile ground and watered a little. To deal with all manner of evil in our world today, maybe our best tact is to not give it fertile ground! Just sayin!