Bewildered (1,244)

August 20th, 2011

· 10

· 14

· 20

· 25

· 33

· 40

· 50

· 65

· 80

· 90

What are these? They’re numbers, of course. And when these numbers are associated with the ages of human beings, we begin to anticipate a drastic difference between 10 and 90. It’s not only 80 years of life, but also eight decades of what we deem to be experience and maturity.

So I am sometimes baffled when I stare into the faces of my audiences and I see the same bewildered expression on the faces of the retired folks that I see on the teenagers. For I will tell you quite bluntly—there is no advantage to getting older whatsoever if you’re not becoming cagey and wiser.

Getting older when you’re still fighting against the realities of life has to be one of the more painful experiences for a human being. At least when you’re sixteen you can say, “When I get away from my parents life will be better.” But when you’re sixty years old, you can’t use that statement anymore. You’ve been away from your parents for a long time, you’ve had a sufficient crack at life and the dissatisfaction that may remain is now of your own doing or at least the by-product of the choices you’ve made.

No wonder I see bewilderment on the countenances of aging Americans. The proclamation is practically written on their foreheads: “It wasn’t supposed to be this way.” It contains the immature notion that God only makes a difference when we’re looking for someone to pray to for a miracle or blame for a disaster. The rest of the time we don’t study His planet, His natural order, the shifting of both physical and social winds or the lay of the land. Instead we want to insist that these messages—often literally carved into the stone—should revise themselves to accommodate our personality and needs.

I don’t know what age I was when it happened—in other words, I don’t recall the specific day, time or place. But somewhere along the line, I stopped arguing with life and the natural order and began to try to find God’s ways within the framework. The reason we are so often bewildered by our earth passage is that we are convinced that it “just shouldn’t be the way it is.”

Is anybody else a little bit confused by people who live in Oklahoma and Kansas who still insist on being surprised at tornadoes in the springtime? Isn’t there a reason they call it Tornado Alley? Is God really trying to punish this region, or perhaps should there be greater care given to finding ways to protect the homes and warn more effectively of upcoming turmoil?

I think we carry a childish edge into our adult years that makes us look ridiculous because we’re still looking for magic instead of discerning the message of our times. Here are the three points that changed my life:

1. Nature is not God but God is in nature. And nature is here to tell me how God is working in the physical realm. Candidly, the earth has one of the simplest roadmaps to discovery that has ever been conceived. Very little happens by accident, there are few haphazard events, there is always a warning before a storm and there are always signs of the times. The definition of maturity is the ability to read these signs.

2. God doesn’t have favorites, but God also does not have enemies. Even people who do not believe in God—but who honor His system—receive the benefits from their respect. And those who are very religious who desecrate His creation or disrespect His beloved human experiment find themselves at odds with His system.

3. And finally, reality is in the moment. My destiny lies in how I deal with the reality of the moment and how I choose to input it. You cannot change reality by ignoring it. You cannot walk around pretending that difficulty does not exist and end up conquering mountains. Even the statement of Jesus that “saying to a mountain that it be removed” does require that we not doubt in our hearts—and the heart is the center of the emotions. The only way to get a handle on any emotion in a situation is to cease being in denial of the reality of the moment, deal with the situation and then set in motion a plan to create a new set of circumstances.

Let me give you an example. Every time I walk into a concert in a church I am dealing with years and years of tradition, family obligations and beliefs that people hold dear because of the passage of time. If I am not prepared to recognize these tenets of their faith and preferences of their personalities, I will be in no position to maneuver my way into their hearts and open the door for any fresh possibility. Change does not occur because we rebel against reality. Change occurs when we recognize the reality that exists and begin to deal with it using the tools provided.

It is a terrible thing to reach your seventieth birthday and be as bewildered by life as you were when you were sixteen. It is why there is just as much need for revival amongst the retired folks as there is with the teenagers.

Because until you learn to deal with reality in the moment, you will have no chance of changing history.

Published in: on August 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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