Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm Responsible

We salute you, Veterans. We acknowledge what you poured out on behalf of our country. Today we'll try to "grow up" and soberly recognize that so much of what we have and enjoy- peace and safety- you all played a part in delivering it to us.

Yesterday at church, our pastor asked all veterans to stand so we could honor them. In the row ahead of me, a young man was sitting next to two older gentlemen. These two older men, veterans, shakily tried to stand up. One started to stand but almost fell back, and the young man next to him reached out, put an arm behind him, and helped raise him up to standing position. He kept his arm there, protectively, supportively, lest the veteran start to fall backwards.

You have the right to be a bit unsteady on your feet when you've lived a long life, fought in wars, done your part to bring a measure of peace to this world, or even to just your tiny corner of the world.

But it's time to stop falling backwards if age, exhaustion, valor and courageous acts of service have not depleted you. If you're just falling backwards because you're frustrated , self sabotaging, or petulant about someone not liking you or liking your work- that's another thing.

Now remember, I am giving myself a good "talking to" here. (I need it). Don't listen in if you're not in the mood for a bit of battle charge.

I've shared about hearing the word "satisfaction" whispered to my soul, and how I can taste it - and want to walk in satisfaction continually. But I also shared the illustration that he who tills his land shall be satisfied with bread, and she who comes thirsty and crying out to God shall not go away empty or unsatisfied. In other words, to become satisfied, there's an action required.

Notice the implied action of pursuing something responsibly. If you've got a field, then work it. If you've got a thirst for something, then make haste and get to the throne room of God and talk to Him, tell Him your need, cry out for relief- but don't be silent, whatever you do. It's your responsibility to speak up.

We've got a responsibility to see that we are a satisfied people. Grace is available. Forgiveness is flowing. Strength for the day is offered. "They that wait upon the Lord SHALL renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles...". But if you're still stranded on the ground, dry and pinned down, ask yourself if you have availed yourself of all of heaven's resources.

You have a responsibility to your soul to see to it that you do not wastefully ignore the resources God has in mind to turn your plight into sight. "Oh, I see, Lord!"

I used to fall down in the area of being "overly responsible". (I can still battle this a bit, but am more aware that I don't want to fall into this). That can mean you take on too much, or it can show up in you not drawing boundary lines or you doing too much for someone who needs to learn to do for themselves. It can happen by having too sensitive a conscience or by having a martyr complex where you feel you have to give your all for the world- forgetting that the world already has a Perfect Savior- and it's not you.

But if we're not overly responsible, and if we're not shirking responsibility- then we have a call to walk that narrow road of being sane, sober minded, responsible- and joyfully so. After all, Jesus has told us that "the yoke is easy and the burden is light" - because He shoulders the burden while we participate in walking with Him, obediently, responsibly.

"We live in a culture that overvalues talent and undervalues responsibility," Maxwell writes in his book, Talent is Never Enough. But notice the subtitle of this book: "Discover the Choices that will Take You Beyond Your Talent."

Yes, in this life we have Choices to make. "Every day you have a chance to write a new page in that story. I want to encourage you to fill those pages with responsibility to others and to yourself. If you do, in the end you will not be disappointed," Maxwell writes.

And a person who has responsibly looked at the choices in their life, gone after the call of God on their life, made mistakes and botched things up but kept on going in His grace- that person will not only not be disappointed with the outcome of their life, but I daresay... they'll be quite satisfied.

"Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. "Ps. 90:14

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