Practice what you preach

The blog has been somewhat light hearted as of late, but today I am going to take you into the inner workings of my mind- maybe it will encourage someone.  Maybe it will help me sort my own thoughts out.  Or maybe it is just cheap therapy.

The other day I preached at my church on “Our disappointments matter.” I looked at Romans 8 and what it means when Paul says “God works all things for the good of those who love him.”  I concluded that “good” in this context doesn’t mean health, wealth or happiness, but the opportunity to be transformed into the likeness of Christ- a good that out weighs all else that could happen to us.  We need to search for how this purpose can be fulfilled in all circumstances, no matter how hard, because it is that that gives us meaning and hope and a future.

Today I had a big disappointment.  I had submitted a new book proposal to my publishers that I was very excited about, and I had reason to believe they liked it too.  The meeting to decide on its future was yesterday, and I have just found out that given the current financial climate, and the fact that my other two books are far from best sellers, they are not going for it.

My first response was to sink into a deep puddle of misery and self denegration, doubting my gifts, my calling, my purpose, my whole life.  Bear in mind that this was about three hours ago! I have not crawled far out of that damp muddy hole.  But in those few hours some other thoughts have occured to me.  How can this situation be worked on by God so that it becomes “good”? Well, I obviously have more to learn about grounding my identity in my relationship with God and not in my achievements, such as they are.  Here is an opportunity to put that to the test.  The one who hears the words of Jesus and puts them into practice is like a man who dug the foundations of his house into rock- the wind and rain couldn’t shift it.  The words of Jesus to me right now are “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  Commit your way to him and he will make your path straight.”  Where does my path go from here? I am not clear.  But I know the only thing it makes sense to base a life on is a journey into Godliness, and I hope and pray this set back will prove to have moved me further in that direction.

Thanks for listening.