A New Year has started and what are our hopes and fears? If all I had to go on is what I see happening now in the world, I would not hold too much hope for the future and I would have a significant number of concerns to be fearful of. Things are not good. We’re killing our planet. Greed for power, control and profit is destroying us or attempting to destroy us, within and without.
Yesterday I had one of my granddaughters sit on my lap and look in my eyes.
Josephine is just over a year old. She stared at me, right at my eyes, for minutes. It was one of those beautiful moments I will never forget. Hard to believe that just over a year ago she wasn’t even born yet. She’s walking now and gives a high five. Amazing. How easy it is to love her and have that feeling of love swell up within. Where does love come from? What is the worth or value of love? Why is love so important in all of our lives?
My wife and I had five children. We love all of them dearly. Yet when you are raising them there are times when just keeping your head above water takes away from the wonder of who and what they are. Being a grandparent gives you time to reflect, time to appreciate, time to understand the gift that they are. And while I am at it, the gift that my wife has been to me.
Remember that saying that says “When you are up to your neck in alligators, it’s easy to forget that the goal was to drain the swamp.”
That’s what day to day life does to us, it takes our minds away from what is really important. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, single or married, father or mother, daughter or son, we all get caught up in our day to day “requirements”. But the requirements, as valid as they can be, have a cost. Balancing worthy requirements is difficult, very difficult, and there are many who get lost along the way. I know because I have been there. If you put advancement in your work environment as your top priority then other requirements suffer. Same thing with self over others. It seemed like a good idea at the time but in hindsight I could have done things a lot better.
For a lot of people, belief and trusting in God doesn’t even come into the picture. Belief in God is for the simple minded, uneducated, it’s for those who need a crutch to hold onto.
On the other hand, those who are self reliant, educated, knowledgeable, adhere to the supposed reality that all of what surrounds us happened by chance, is ultimately without cause and purpose. The song “I Did It My Way” by Frank Sinatra comes to mind.
I thought that I was one of the educated, could steer my own ship and trust my own abilities, didn’t worry about what would come down the road. I was wrong.
As parents we naturally try to protect our children from getting hurt or harmed. We provide physical or mental fences or guidelines around them to keep them safe. This seems to be common throughout all nationalities. We care, love and try to protect those that we love. Self preservation kicks in. But it goes deeper than that. Love goes beyond self preservation, sometimes it totally ignores self and others become the priority. We applaud that when we see others do these things. Self is left behind.
Let’s say that a child is safely protected from harm by being kept with a fenced area. Let’s say that the child chooses to disregard the protection the parents have provided and unlocks the gate and wanders into the nearby woods. Let’s say that the child becomes lost and is in danger. Does that mean that the parents no longer love the child? Of course not!
It means that the child made a choice to disregard the guidance of the parents and made a mistake that could end in tragedy. Being mature means that we acknowledge and learn from our mistakes.
There are always going to be skeptics who choose not to believe in God. But to believe that one has to be simple or uneducated to believe in God is false. There are many many educated people who believe in God. The problem is that most people who do not believe in God have never taken the time themselves to actually look at what has convinced other educated people to believe (both sides).
There are always going to be those who believe that they are the Captains of their own ship, that they do not need a God to guide them. C.S. Lewis said “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.” The choice is not God’s but yours. This would be similar to those who choose to open the gate and walk out into the woods, ignoring the love and guidance of God.
Many years ago I sat on the steps of a military barrack block in Ottawa, Ontario and said a silent prayer to a God that I did not know, to show Himself to me. He did. I became a Christian, a follower of Jesus. My path to faith was not a straight one. It took me some serious time to realize that trusting in God was not something you could pick up and put down whenever you wanted. It doesn’t work that way.
God is real, He does love us and does not want us to be harmed. He loves us so much that He (our heavenly Father) sent his Son Jesus Christ to walk on this earth as a human being, to witness how to be in union and enjoy the love that emulates from our heavenly Father and most importantly, wipe away all the bad choices that we have made and change our hearts, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, so that we are at one with our Father now and also after we physically die. For those who believe in Jesus Christ, there is life in the presence of God after we physically die. The evidence is overwhelming once you really take His love and revelation to heart and check out the evidence He has given us.
The title of this post is “Dare To Ask“. If you haven’t asked Jesus to come into your life yet, please do. Take a good hard look at the wisdom and nature of this world today and ask yourself, is this what humanity is destined for? There is a better way where God’s love is self evident. God’s love cannot force others to love him. Love cannot work coercively but only persuasively. Forced love is a contradiction in terms. It all boils down to a choice that we make. As long as you are alive it is not too late. Dare to ask.