Skip to main content

Huh, so that's it!

There is a pretty familiar question that we might all hear from time to time this week, if not everyday: "Are you serious?" Whenever someone poses this question, they may not really be seeking the truth about your level of trustworthiness, or even your ultimate desire to commit to something. In fact, they might just be saying this to exclaim some message of surprise - like they could not possibly imagine what we just did or said as even remotely possible! There is another saying: "Let's get serious now." This one is often spoken as a word or two of admonishment designed to get us focused (and often to get us refocused) on what is at hand. These aren't words spoken to just hear ourselves speak - they are spoken because there is some need to make a course correction - to get back to what we should be doing.

Listen to me, all you who are serious about right living and committed to seeking God. Ponder the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were dug. (Isaiah 51:1)

When you are serious about something, there is a process that occurs. First, there is engagement in conscious thought - you focus your capacity for understanding and processing on the subject or task at hand. Then you have determined the subject or task to be weighty enough to require your attention and time. In turn, you make a determination to undertake it with earnestness. So, the process begins by taking conscious thought and ends up getting us into action of some sort - not any lackluster action, but one that shows our determination and focus. Isaiah is speaking to Israel in his words of prophecy, but there are always tidbits of truth for us in each message spoken so many years ago. God would like us to really think about the things we take seriously in life. If you have paper and pen, take a moment to make two columns. On the left, put a title at the top "Serious About" - on the right, put a title "Not So Much". Now, as you go throughout your day today, take a moment here and there to write down the things you are really serious about today - those things you give your capacity of thought to, that you have determined to be weighty enough to require your focused attention, and those you have some sense of earnestness in seeing completed.

I usually undertake this "exercise" on a pretty regular basis. Why? Simply because I have a tendency to allow things to drift into my realm of thought and attention that really are demanding too much of my attention and time! As I refocus on what it is I am serious about - I often see my list can be a little too self-focused (taking time and giving attention to what will satisfy my needs rather than the needs of those God places in my life). Now, this may not be the case with you, but it could very well be. If so, putting this down on paper actually helps you and I to recognize the things which are consuming our time and perhaps even consuming "us". If you are serious about RIGHT living and committed to SEEKING God....ponder....ow do you see the connection between what Isaiah advises and my little exercise? Yep, as you took time to write those things out in one of those columns, you were "pondering" what it is you are committed to - what you (or others who have influence in your life) have determined to be worthy of your thought and attention. You can think of pondering as a kind of "chewing upon" exercise. You kind of keep pouring over and over the list until you begin to see how each of the things listed is really affecting your relationships with God or each other, and even balance in your life. There is much to be gained by taking time to ponder.

Isaiah was speaking to a nation of "believers" who had taken their eye off of the things which were most important. In fact, they find themselves driven into servitude to nations around them and living under the burden of being "slaves" to another country's leader. God's intention was for them to live free - unburdened and definitely not under the leadership of these hostile countries. How did they get to this point? Maybe if someone had asked, "Are you serious?" a little earlier, they might not have drifted this far! I don't know about you, but as hard as it is to hear an accountability partner ask me the tough questions, I appreciate their words! It is often exactly what I need in order to refocus! Ponder the rock from which you were cut. Are you familiar with the passage from I Peter 2:5 which refers to us as living stones? When we actually take time to consider the rock from which we are cut, we are considering the things which make our "cornerstone" so reliable. His love, grace, and forgiveness. His truthfulness, commitment, and transparency. In turn, we begin to emulate the "stone" from which we were taken - we begin to look and act like Christ.

Ponder the quarry from which you were dug. I live close enough to some of the copper mines in Arizona to know what a mine looks like. I also have been to the quarries from which granite is taken. Having this experience allows me to recognize some things about a quarry. First, it is a pretty dirty place. There is a whole lot of "turning over" of soil until you find the thing you desire most. God has taken us from a whole lot of "dirt". Second, once the copper is removed or the granite cut, it is a thing of beauty and function. We are not dug from the quarry of sin to just "exist" - but to be a thing of beauty and function in the kingdom of God. So, ponder with me today. You might be surprised what it is you discover about yourself - and God! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean

Doubt isn't a bad thing

I would like for you to consider for a moment what this journalist was attempting to share in his words: " Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow ." (Ambrose Bierce) Have you ever doubted? Then it is suggested you were at least at the place of some form of belief. Have you ever considered what your doubt was attempting to reveal to you? Perhaps doubt is not a bad thing because it points us to consider the truth of a matter. Where doubt is - - - there truth is. It may be in the shadows, but it is there! We need only look a little closer and we will find truth has never been far from us.  The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee. The decisions of God are accurate dow