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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Boast only...

“Whoever boasts should boast only about the Lord.” What people say about themselves means nothing. What counts is whether the Lord says they have done well. 
Someone once reminded me my present issues and troubles don't determine where my life is headed - they merely make up the place where I can start (or perhaps even start again). I think they may have been quoting Nido Qubein who also reminds us, "Change brings opportunity."  As a novice using Excel spreadsheets, I built spreadsheets and workbooks of data only to find the elements I needed to extract from that plethora of data were so jumbled up I could not really get much meaningful data out of that mess. Over time, I came to realize the significance of not only the data housed in these sheets, but how it was organized in order to make meaningful use of it later on. In life, we often know we are supposed to do something with what it is we have right in front of us, but it is just such a jumbled mess we don't know how to go about it. We want to scrap it all and just get a fresh start. If I had scrapped all those worksheets of data, I'd have to start all that data entry again. Often all we really need in life is a "restructuring" of that which is right in front of us and we can go in a totally different direction than wherever it was we were headed.
In terms of what we say about ourselves while we are in the muddle of a mess we have created often determines how we will look at the mess as defining our destination, or describing the place we "begin again". Seeing "opportunity" in the midst of a mess is harder than one might imagine - because most of us have a tendency to get caught up in the mess. Yet, it is in observing these "disguised opportunities" as "launching pads" that help to drive us to our next destination, not keep us anchored where we are, that we finally move onto the journey that reveals the opportunity hidden deep within that mess! The ideal is that we don't get bogged down in the muddle, but that we see it as a place of beginning or beginning again. The reality is that the muddle clouds our view of the possibilities ahead.
If we could master one thing in life, we'd be all the better for it. What is that one thing? It is that we learn not to boast about ourselves when we are 'doing well', or bemoan the mess we are in because of our actions that bespeak us 'not doing so well'. We are to boast and hope in the Lord - for he is Lord IN and OVER the muddle and mess as much as he is the Lord IN and OVER all the stuff we find pleasing and orderly in our lives. It is in keeping this perspective that we can determine to make the mess a launching pad and not an anchor. Just sayin!