JD Blum writes a blog that I read regularly called A DEVOTED LIFE. Here is his post from today, one I wish I had written.
Hobbit by director Peter Jackson.
We have subsequently watched it a multitude of times in the last couple
days so my mind has been flooded with images of Middle Earth. I love
epic tales. I have been drawn into all of J.R.R Tolkien’s tales of Middle Earth due to their epic scale.
The problem with epic tales is that they can skew our expectations of reality.
We are all part of the most epic plan ever imagined. The wonderful
aspect of this plan is that it does not come from an author’s
imagination but it is real. God’s redemptive plan has been unfolding
throughout history. What story could be greater than the Creator God of
the Universe, the Great I AM, saving His fallen and rebellious creation
from certain destruction? It is a plan of unfathomable dimension and
However, this epic plan mostly unfolds in the ordinary. It is
typically carried out in the normal. Every person plays a role in the
greatest story of history when they rise in the morning and either set
their minds on the things of the Spirit or the flesh. We are all living
in the epic whether we know it or not.
There are the occasional glimpses of the spectacular but the majority
of the time we trudge along in the familiar. I want to participate in
God’s epic plan with grace and courage. I am reminded of a scene in the Return of the King. Legolas slays
an oliphant by effortlessly swinging up its side while agilely dodging
his assailants. After killing the beast he then gracefully slides down
it’s trunk to land lightly upon his feet. That is the sort of
participant in God’s great unfolding story that I want to be.
However, this is where the imagination and reality clash. Reality is
more like the Apostle Paul’s experience. Directed by God to return to
Rome, he was placed on a ship by his captors. They were caught in a
violent storm for fourteen days where they struggled in vain to hold the
ship together. They had to unload cargo into the raging sea. Able
seamen had to be prevented from abandoning their ship and
responsibilities. They spied an opportunity to run their ship ashore on
a beach of a nearby island. They casted off their anchors, set the
sail, and made for the beach only to strike a reef. The entire party
gets washed ashore amid planks and a myriad of ship debris. They were
undoubtedly covered with sand and the grime of the sea, bruised and
battered. It was not a very graceful exit. It certainly was not an
elegant or agile landing.
That is life.
have never really experienced a “Legolas” type moment. Most of my
moments have been more of the ungraceful and awkward type where I have
landed in an inglorious and embarrassing heap. That does not mean that
they were unimportant or not a part of God’s plan.
We need to be careful about seeking out and participating in only
“Legolas” like moments. They may never happen. I don’t know if I have
ever felt like I had the perfect words to say or write. I can’t
remember ever clearly seeing the path before me so that I could
effortlessly bound forward without the risk of tripping. If we wait for
the perfect conditions to make our leaps of faith, then we may never
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Our eyes are on another world as we walk through this one. We have
placed our conviction in things that cannot be seen. Our reality is
that we move forward by faith. That means that we may stumble. That
means that we may become part of a group that gets ingloriously washed
ashore. We may pick imperfect words and look foolish. We may not see
the next foothold and appear indecisive. We may be walking along and
trip over the common and fall in an awkward and embarrassing heap.
I will risk landing in a clumsy heap over the security of standing on
the sideline of God’s wonderful plan of redemption with my dignity
intact. My dignity is not worth much in comparison to God’s plan. The
opinion of others is insignificant in comparison to the glories of God.
The blessings of a deep and meaningful relationship with God are found
only in the practice of our faith. God will only be found by
those who seek Him through the power of His Spirit. That happens when
we are actually in the epic journey of faith.
Are you ready to trust in the promises of God and take your
potentially inglorious next
step? We need to remember that every
inglorious step that we take forward leads us to a glory beyond what we
can even comprehend at this time. That glory of our Lord will cause all
the struggles and suffering of this time to fade in an insignificant
memory. Every inglorious step, taken in faith, serves a purpose and is
transformed by the Spirit into glory for our Lord and Savior.
We must decide which glory we want the most – God’s glory or our own.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
I am writing this post on my sabbath. To be honest, I found it among my drafts and I really don't remember whether these are my words or I got them from someone. But it's still worth sharing. - STEVE
Your challenge today is to choose to Sabbath.
Choose to Rest instead of Work.
Choose to Trust instead of Hustle.
Choose to Sip coffee instead of Pound it.
Choose to Talk instead of Tweet.
Choose to Refill instead of Pour out.
Choose to stay in Jammies for as long as possible instead of getting Dressed.
Choose to Sabbath instead of just taking a Day Off.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
by STEVE DUNN
I have always been a person who seems to seek busyness. I once described myself as a "recovering workaholic" and someone who knew me well quipped, "Relapsed would be more accurate." My schedule generally has been full and I have had several Facebook friends who have said, "Your Facebook page makes me tired." I tend to be optimistic about how much I can accomplish in a day or week, and my assessment would be accurate if days had 28 hours and weeks had nine days.
There is no Bible verse to proof text this attitude. "Busyness is not next to godliness" unless you are reading 2nd Imaginations in the latest version of the Apocrypha. The outcome of extreme busyness is generally not pretty. Whether you rust out or wear out - out is out.
It's taken two bouts with burnout to get me to give serious attention to my busyness addiction; and even now I need to be vigilant about saying "yes" when I need to say "no". At some point busyness robs you of joy and true productivity. It's hard to be content and fulfilled when you're exhausted. Some things take time and solid attention. Trying to do too much usually erodes quality or sustainability.
One of the lessons we need to learn to combat this insidious busyness is to claim a new core value:
DO LESS BETTER.
Many of us carry some old tapes that warn against laziness. "Idle hands are the devil's workshop" has been used many a time to provide a verbal kick in the rear to someone. Yet sometimes, idling is needed to get warmed up for the journey.
Some of have tapes that say "Measure up!" or "Prove yourself!" or "Always Look Busy!" As a result we press on to produce and take our worth in the quantity we produce rather than the quality of what we produce.
But our self-worth is first tied to who we are. What we do comes next. And in God's scheme of things, quality always trumps quantity. "Whatever you do in word or deed, do it as unto the Lord." (Colossians 3:17)
Maybe we find greater joy if we attended to doing what we do well and not worry so much about how much we do. White Castle and other mass producing hamburger joints can plow out tons of little meaty sqaures fried in onions, but does anyone seriously think they as good as that turkey you ate at Thanksgiving which cooked for hours before it was served?
So here is my counsel, especially as you get ready for the insanity that is the pre-Christmas season in America. Do yourself a favor. DO LESS BETTER.
(c) 2012 by Stephen L Dunn