Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"Off Balance"

     I stayed up much later than usual last night, watching a certain football game in which a certain team from a certain state won the national championship for the third time in four years (the other year, a team from the same certain state won the title).  I'll allow the parties involved to remain nameless so as not to gloat that said state has apparently retired the championship trophy in perpetuity to its hallowed shores! (we'll take good care of it).

    This has completely upset my normal schedule.   I am one of those "early to bed, early to rise folks," not so much by choice as by body clock.  I get sleepy early, and I get unsleepy early.  When I woke up this morning, it was light outside.  I literally cannot remember the last time that happened.  So, I feel quite off balance as this day begins, and I take no responsibility for any strange and garbled rhetoric that may ensue in this message.  Oh yes, did I mention that last night, a certain team from a certain state...

     Seriously, life often throws us off balance for far more significant and consequential reasons than the aforementioned.  Most of us are creatures of routine to one degree or another, especially as we get older.  Life, however, has a way of interrupting our normal plans.  More importantly, God often orchestrates events and circumstances for the purpose of revealing Himself as the true arbiter of our lives.

    "A man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).

    If things in our lives always went as planned, we would inevitably succumb to the temptation to trust in our own wisdom and knowledge rather than heed Solomon's familiar and beloved mandate: "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).  Routine, as necessary and even proper as it is in devising our way, must regularly give way to the unexpected if are to adequately know our complete dependence on the Lord's direction along His path of righteousness.  When thrown off balance, we require God's help if we are not to fall.  Just as importantly, we know that His rescue is necessary.

    I hope to get back on schedule and in my routine tonight and in the morning.  No team from that certain state is playing for a national championship today, as far as I know (did I mention that, by the way?).  If so, I will rejoice in getting back to my norm.  If not, however, I will also have opportunity to rejoice that the Lord who directs our steps has different plans, and I must believe, better purposes than could be known along my usual course of life.

"Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not."
(Psalm 17:5)

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