I returned and saw under the sun that – the race is not to the swift, not the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill but time and chance happen to them all. – Ecclesiastes 9:11
Being fast won’t win you the race – you have to be the first one to cross the finish line. Being strong won’t win you the battle – you have to defeat your enemy. Wisdom will not ensure you eat well. Understanding will not give you money. Skill will not give you favor. The winner is not always fast, the victor not always strong, or the fat always wise.
But this is true: God wins you the race, the battle, blesses with food, with money, and He gives His favor and man’s favor.
I tend to work BACKWARD. Seeking speed to race well. Building strength to win the battle. Seeking wisdom for security and understanding for riches. I pursue the skill to the exclusion of the GOD of that SKILL. And I KNOW this yet I still wonder why I am not fast enough, not strong enough, not wise or understanding or skillful enough -- even though I have done everything I can.
Why do I persist in accumulating man’s SKILLS if I KNOW God is the key to victory? I. Am. Afraid. Afraid of the COST. Afraid of losing CONTROL -- for me this is the biggest one because I translate ability and skill into control. Afraid of the UNKNOWN.
So, Father, teach me to understand the cost. Help me trust the God of the universe more than I trust me. Lord, You are the only Paradigm but Savior let me live as an example of faith. So that I may one day tell my children all You have done for me and with me. Help me teach them the cost of seeking the world's trinket's in Your place. And help me display the blessedness of trusting You and blessings of seeking You and Your ways first.
If you were going to marry a man or woman based on the contents of their wallet or purse -- what would you be looking for? And, are you carrying those things on your person too? After all, if you want a spouse of character, who has a receipt for a charity in their wallet -- shouldn't you also have one? If you want someone who loves Jesus and has their memory verses on cards in their purse -- shouldn't you also have them?
It is so easy to look at others and say: "Wow -- I wish I could be like that!" But it is hard to start changing our small pets habits to actually be like Jesus. It is even easier to exclaim: "Hey, you aren't acting like Jesus! You aren't doing what God says to!" But it is hard to look at ourselves and say: "We are in the same boat."
In the late 1800s, the earth, moon and sun lined up completely resulting in a complete solar eclipse. It lasted for 51 seconds. Since the moon was blocking nearly all of the sun’s blinding rays, scientists could study the atmosphere of the sun…for 51 seconds. 51 seconds was all the time those scientists had but it was enough because they diligently observed and therefore were able draw accurate conclusions.
Consider it: An entire career defined by 51 seconds. What will your 51 seconds be? Will you recognize it when it comes? What will you do with it?
Remember, God always gives enough time to perform what He has planned for you. Praise God!
“Keep silence before Me, O coastlands,
And let the people renew their strength!”– Isaiah 41:1
Often when I sing, my distracted mind ignores the words and is carried away by the music. Commonly, the “noise” of the melody and harmony melds into a buzzing in my ears. Sometimes worship is just a part of the ceremony and the words slur into mush in the recesses of my brain. Today, I experienced the blessing of laryngitis; I have only a fraction of my normal speaking voice and less than that of my normal singing stamina. It is a challenge just speaking a sentence, let alone singing one.
One or two words in a deep, scratchy, off-key voice is all I can manage. And in “silence” I worshipped. God doesn’t need audible words to hear our worship. The audible is for us. God doesn’t need sentiments repeated over and over ad nausium…that is human invention…maybe for our benefit or maybe it just obscures the substance of true worship. Just like the music can obscure the worship.
What?! I hear many say. Worship is music. No. Worship is praise of God. Music can praise God but certainly is not the pinnacle of worship (though maybe we have thought it so). Worship is hugely broad; prayer, memorization, meditation, fasting, writing, and serving. All of my life, all of your life is worship!
Come with me as we grow in fellowship with each other and our Savior to whom belongs the Amazing Escape from sin and death and the Amazing Journey into glorious life.