All over facebook this morning is talk about the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion that happened back in 1986. For some of you reading this, it may have been a huge event in your life, while for others it may only be a news story. On that day, a shuttle was launched to go into outerspace, but it exploded after take off. It was a tragic day. Many people remember where they were when iit happened.
There are a few “where were you when it happened” moments in my life. I am 35 years old, so the events that shaped my world view are probably not the same as my mother. Her events are JFK, MLK, and Viet Nam. Mine are NASA, OJ and 9-11. Different events in different times, but defining none the less
I’m not sure exact impact that the Challenger tragedy had on everyone, but I can speak a bit about how I think it affected me at the age of 11. I’m not sure how much emotional maturity one can possess at the age of 11, all I remembered was that it scared me. Prior to that, I don’t think I grasped the inherent risk that life creates. The cost of pursuing your dreams. The name “Challenger” is quite fitting. Because it was challenging to think about the threat of death at the age of 11. It can be debilitating. Going past it is challenging
Events happen though. They will continue to happen for the rest of my life. This morning on the news I saw huge political upheaval in Egypt and a bank robbery in Maryland. A few weeks ago a congresswoman got shot. Its a crazy world. It will continue to be crazy until the day that I die.
Begs the question- are the risks we take worth it? Should we stay home and just watch TV and hide from our fellow man?
No. No we should not.
Every day is a risk worth taking. Merely getting in your car is a risk. But life was and is meant to be lived. You can’t spend your life in worry. You can hide from the reality of pain. You must go out, embrace it and allow it to shape you. You can’t live your life hiding from it.
Are you living in fear? Are there things you wont give up or places you wont go because of gripping fear? Allow the Lord to lead you away from it today. Be released from those shackles of fear and worry and walk in the Victory that Jesus provides.
Bad things happen. They will continue to happen. Don’t let them rule your life.
Have you ever known someone who puts them self down constantly? The type of person that spends the bulk of their time talking about how worthless they are? I’m sure you do. We all know someone like that.
They usually talk about how dumb they are, how stupid they are, how fat they are, how worthless they are. If you’re like me, as you sit there and listen to them, you get this feeling of uncomfortableness as you struggle with what to say. Clearly, these people need encouragement. They need someone to validate them and tell them that they are not what they think they are. Simply put, they want reassurance in who they are and what they look like.
Reassurance can be tricky though. Someone else has now decided your value for you, instead of you understanding your own inherit worth. Now you’re at the whim of what someone else thinks.
Let me explain further- God created us. We are His. It is clear from the Bible that God intends for us to love ourselves as we love other people. This is hard, but can be easier if we look to what God says about us, rather than what the world or other people decide what is valuable.
The Bible says that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. God uses self love as the benchmark by which we should gauge our love of others. Easily, one can assume that the love that God intends for ourselves is not negative. If we constantly think and talk bad about ourselves, the love that will come from us, towards others, will be very unlovely indeed.
Which brings us to the big question- if we are to love others as ourselves, to what benefit is it continually put ourselves down? It is of no benefit. We have inherit value placed on us by God. If we degrade that, or are unsure of it, we devalue God himself by declaring that he has made something that is woefully inadequate. Now, we’re not supposed to think of ourselves more highly than we should, but to have a sense of confident self value that has been placed on us by the one who created us in turn will help us to love other people.
Don’t constantly search for reassurance. Seek out for God’s approval. For his encouragement, for his affirmations. In the end it will empower you to live a more loving life and give you more confidence in your daily life.
Habits. We all have them. We eat, we live, we work. We work out. Some smoke, some sleep, some bite, some chew. Its inevitable. We create and form habits for what we do and how we do things.
We get up at the same time every day. We drive the same way to work every day. We order the same things at restaurants. Habits.
Some habits are good. Some are bad. But we have them. For me, it seems that I’m constantly trying to stop a certain habit and start a new one. I’ve been a nail biter on and off for most of my life. I’m trying to stop. Its not easy. You have to get in the habit of carrying around nail clippers, when you’re used to carrying around your teeth and using them. Its a hard habit to stop, and hard habit to start.
Take this blog for example- I kind of got out the habit of doing it. I like the blog. I like writing it, but I got out of the habit. I’m really trying to get back into it, but its hard to do. Why?
Its a killer to stopping and starting any habit. As soon as you set out to change, circumstance comes knocking and wants to keep you from changing. Its true for me, I’m sure its true for you to.
So what to do? Force it. Demand it of yourself. Set up controls in your life that will help you to make those new habits stick. Sure you can reward yourself with stuff to help you, but the true reward is knowing that you are doing the right thing for you, that in the end is the best thing for you. If not, why would you not be working on changing that habit?
Try this- find one thing to change for the good, set a reasonable goal and do it. It wont be easy, but with God’s help, you can do it. Decide what habits you want to break, and form new habits to replace the old ones that are destructive.
ps. I wrote this blog in 7 mins because I am forming a new habit. Sure, it may not be great, but I FORCED myself to do it because I AM CHANGING MY HABIT. Gotta run- love you.
Do nasty things gross you out? Used rat traps, fly paper, dog vomit and the like? Things that make you go ‘eeewwwww’? I hate those types of things. I’m kinda of a wimp when it comes to gross things. I get creeped out by them pretty easily. I don’t know if its because I’m a germ-phobe or what, but I just do.
Yesterday, I was helping my mom out by doing a dump run of a bunch of stuff from her house. She had to get some plumbing re-done in her bathroom, so there was some leftover pipes that had been sitting around for a while that needed to be disposed of.
Now typically, when you go to the dump, you take everything you can, and send it to the landfill. But, for these pipes, I remembered that sometimes you can get some money for certain types of metals. I called the place and sure enough, the did take metals. When I got to my moms house, and looked at the pipe, one of them was the pipe that connects to the bottom of the toilet, with the wax ring still installed. Nice.
Gross city. Disgusting. To think what that wax ring had seen for the past few decades churned my stomach. It doesn’t matter who, if you think about it long enough, a wax ring on a toilet is about as bad as you can get in my book.
With gloves on, I tossed that pipe, along with some others into the back of my truck to go to the recycle place. To myself, I thought that more than likely I wouldn’t get much for the old pipe. It was gross. It was old. It was discarded. To me, worthless. Why anyone would want an old pipe that had been used like that is beyond me.
To my surprise, when we got there, the guy didn’t even look closely at the pipe. He threw it on the scale and told me that he’d give me 16 dollars for all the pipe.
Wow. 16 bucks. Now, I realize that I didn’t win the lottery yesterday, I got 16 dollars for an old toilet pipe. But here’s the deal- something that I had deemed worthless, had value in the eyes of someone who knew what to look for. It didn’t matter if I thought it had value. The guy who knew what to do with old things thought it had value and gave me 16 dollars for it.
Made me think- Isn’t that what God does with us? He takes us, with all of our nastiness, all of our faults and accepts us. He looks past what we have done, where we have been, what we have been used for and says, “You have value”. Sure, the world may not see us as valuable. People may see as a nasty person who used to do horrible things, but that’s not how God views it.
When we turn away from those things that are nasty and turn towards the one who created us, we realize the inherent value that we have.
Think on that today. Turn away from your past. Turn towards the creator. Allow him to impart his spirit of value into you today. You’re valuable. You’re loved. You’re accepted.