Saturday, August 28, 2010

I'm Better Than You. (at least I think so)

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were leaving our house to go to lunch with our kids. As I was walking out to the car I was embarrassed at how overgrown my yard had gotten. Having a child at the end of April and then having a job that gets busier in the summertime means that my yard gets neglected the most. It was in pretty bad shape that day. I quickly scanned the neighborhood to see if there were any neighbors who were looking disdainfully my way. No one. I hurried to my car and got in before anyone could come out and say something.

We pulled out of our driveway and were heading down the street. That's when we passed the doctor's house. I'm kind of ashamed to say that I don't know the name of many people on my street. So my wife and I give nick names to the people who live near us. (sad I know.) This guy is a doctor. So he is "doctor guy".

As I drove past "Doctor Guys" house I noticed something wonderful. Something amazing. Something simply breathtaking. His grass was higher than mine! Oh the joy!! I wasn't the worst yard on the yard wasn't nearly as bad as "Doctor Guy"'s yard. I even said something like that.

"Look, our yard isn't nearly as bad as his yard. And he's a doctor!" - I'm not sure why I said that. I mean does being a doctor grant you some kind of gardening prowess that other professions just don't have??

I can't remember exactly what my wife said but it was something like. "You know that what you just said is really messed up, right?

I knew it was messed up, but for a second I felt better about myself because someone else fell short. 

I think that humans fall victim to this all the time. We look at our lives and we aren't completely happy with where we are. We see sin in our lives that is pretty bad. We feel guilty about it and then out of no where we run into someone who has a worse life than we do! We run into someone who sins so much more than we do.

and we feel better about ourselves. I'm not as bad as that guy.  Her sin is worse than mine. 

In the words of my wife; "You know that's messed up right?"

When we continue to think this way a couple of things happen...

1. We sell short the grace of Jesus Christ. - The truth of the matter is that we are ALL sinners. We ALL make mistakes. We ALL fall short of the what God designed for us. There's a key word there, did you catch it?  ALL.   Jesus Christ died for us all. He died to take on ALL of our sin. For me to say that my sin is better than someone else's is like me saying that I need Christ less than them. Essentially because their sin is worse than mine, they need Jesus more than me. That defeats what Jesus did when he died on the cross. You need Christ no matter how messed up your life is. Billy Graham needs Christ. Osama Bin Laden needs Christ. whoa, it's weird putting those into the same post....which I guess proves my point.....

2. We lose focus on where our lives need work- If I feel like I can get away without doing yard work...I'll try to get away with it. If I feel that someone else's sin is worse than mine it sort of gives me permission to sin more. I mean I'm just envying this guy because of his sweet car. He sells crack. I'll never be as bad as him and so I'll keep envying away (now I have Billy Graham and crack selling in the same post. I'm not sure if I should be proud or sad) Anyways...When our eyes are constantly judging others, we don't ever look at ourselves and as a result we never grow closer to God.

It's weird to say something and immediately know that it was wrong. After my wife so kindly told me that my thought was messed up, I knew it was true. But part of me still felt OK. The craziest part of the story is that we went to lunch and came home two hours later. As I drove up the street I looked to "Doctor Guy's" house. Much to my horror, his yard had been cut, weeded, and cleaned in the time that we were gone. In my time of judging him and his yard, he had taken the initiative to change it.  I think you can guess the life lesson here.

Do you ever jump to judge others? (i'm guessing this will be rhetorical as most people don't readily admit this to comment on it!)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

God speaks all arounds us, we just miss it.

I often get the question, "Why doesn't God speak to us anymore?" My response is always, "He does."  "Well I don't here him!"

It's true. we don't hear God a whole lot. In fact I can't say that I've ever heard God speak audibly. I had a friend once who did but that's a whole different story. I was at the beach this past week and God spoke to me. Not out loud or anything. But still He was talking.

It started with a book that was recommended by a friend of my father in law. It wasn't a very good book. It was by this rabbi who kept misquoting scripture and making points that didn't make much sense. (like God is not perfect?) But the premise of the book was this: We can see God in nature. That's where we meet God. I was intrigued by this.

We took a group of students to the mountains of West Virginia. One of the things that we did was rappelling of of a mountain. Here's a shot of one of the guys heading over the side of the cliff.

The thing was that as we climbed to the site we were surrounded by trees. When we stepped to the cliff everything opened up. We were met by the New River Gorge. All you could do was stand and look. It was huge. My only thought was. God made this. God made this amazingness.

At the beach it was the same way. I was sitting and staring at the ocean in amazement about the sheer size of it. It's ginormous. I had to think about it. Think about this. Who controls the ocean? Who sets its' waves in motion? Who set the moon just far enough away to control the tides? Who does all that?

God spoke to me that day. He said, "I did all this. I can handle anything in your life. I promise. I will take care of you.

Often we are too busy to just stand in awe of God. It's like we completely miss everything on Earth that He created for us. When we ignore these things, we might just be ignoring God speaking to us. Throughout the week there was a song by the David Crowder* Band that kept running through my mind. I have included it below so check it out!

until next time, open your eyes and open your ears to God.