The Solid Rock

Rock-Climbing-ChecklistChristians can be perceived as being an odd bunch of people.  This might be due in part to the language of the New Testament; Jesus encouraged His followers to be light, fruit-bearing, and wise and serpents and harmless as doves.  He also reminded them that they were to be in the world, but not of the world.

Do you try to blend in with the rest of the world, or do you stand up and stand out for Jesus?

Some people struggle with a delinquent desire to fit in with the rest of the world, and they adopt questionable maxims at the risk of divorcing themselves from the message of the Master. At the heart of His message is the need to build your life on the right foundation.

The Christian faith is rupicolous in nature, and Jesus is the Rock or foundation on which you are to build your life.   When you live in His presence and among His principles, you’ll enjoy His blessings.  The words of Moses confirm this:

Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My teaching will drop like the rain, my sayings will drip like the dew, as rain drops upon the grass, and showers upon new growth. For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; you must acknowledge the greatness of our God. As for the Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are just. He is a reliable God who is never unjust, he is fair and upright.  Deuteronomy 32:1-4

What are the core principles that guide your life?  Do they provide a solid foundation or are they little more than sinking sand?  Do they leave you choking in the dust of the world or do they fill your lungs with the pristine mountain air of faith?

Thoughtful or Thought-Filled?

I’m not sure that I’m a thoughtful person; however, I have no doubt that I am thought-filled.  My mind races from one thought to another at a speed, that even NASCAR can’t match.

If all these thoughts were positive and constructive, I’d be the envy of the world.  The trouble is that many of them are negative and destructive.

I’ve come to realize that either I control my thoughts or they control me.  Our thoughts are seeds that blossom into feelings and behaviors that make us either blooming idiots or citizens of substance.

Dick Tracy

The increase in technology is directly connected to a decrease in thought-regulating quiet time.  Think with me for a moment about the rapid changes in society.  I can remember the Sunday edition of the paper and the watch-like apparatus Dick Tracy wore on his wrist.  Dick could be seen talking to a fellow detective with this device that was a pre-cursor to cell phones and video conferencing.  Most everyone thought this was far-fetched-thinking that would never happen in their lifetime, but we’ve gone from party-lines to cell phones with video capabilities in just a few short years.

And shortened years just might be the diagnosis, if we don’t learn how to slow down and still keep pace.  The question is:  How can we slow down, when the computer keeps us ramped up?

Here’s something I’m trying.  Every time I do a Google search, I pause just a second before I begin and say something positive and spiritual.  Prayers like this  have their roots in the words of the Apostle Paul:  Pray without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17); and in the thoughts of the old Quaker theologian, Rufus Jones:  Let a person’s inner being be fortified with a faith in God and all his creative powers are quickened, his marching strength is heightened and his grip on everyday things is immensely increased. It is as though he had tapped a hidden reservoir of power.

Let me share a few quick phrases that can be effective keyboard prayers:

·        Bless the Lord, my soul.

·        May Your will be accomplished in me.

·        Not my will, but yours.

·        Teach me. Guide me. Keep me

·        The Lord is the Rock of my salvation.

Instead of embracing the mentality of Atlas and trying to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, I’m learning to use these mini-prayers as pace-setters as I walk with the Lord.

I think these words of Jesus from The Message provide a good summary of my thoughts:  Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11:28-30).

I hope this thought keeps you thinking.