“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you (II Corinthians 4:8-12) .”
I’ve been reminded recently of the TV shows that I watched as a kid. There was “Cactus Joe”, “Huckleberry Hound” and “Leave It to Beaver”.
This morning I walked into Starbucks and the older guy behind the counter reminded me of a seedy show all the young boys would tune in to in order to catch a glimpse of the starlet on the program. I never really watched that show (really!), but I do recall that it was somewhat juvenile. It was the forerunner I believe of today’s reality shows.
It was 6 am when I walked into the coffee shop, and it was manned by two guys. That’s unusual because the staff is mostly women. So I joked with them that the “manly” crew was running things.
I was trying to be humorous, but our lives are truly a reality program. We are out there early trying to support ourselves and our families. So are a lot of women, but in my old-fashioned view, I suppose, it is mainly the male’s responsibility to put food on the table.
I could whine about the hard work (and I do), but I am finally gaining some perspective in my middle age. What I am learning is that God wants me to grow up and be a man.
As one of my old college buddies told me right after he graduated, work is “work”. It is “dog eat dog” out there. However, I am beginning to think that God keeps putting me in these hard jobs so He can show Himself mighty on my behalf.
My usual modus operandi over the course of my life is to give a nod at God and then go about saving myself on the job. In doing this I short circuit God’s salvation.
The Psalmist described a situation where he was oppressed on every side. When I read his poem I don’t see references to “I did this” and “I did that”. The Psalm is filled with statements of God’s love, presence and enablement. The final result was victory over his difficult circumstances, and praise to God for His might. Oh, the Psalmist also took the time to thank God for His goodness. No more quick nods (Psalm 118:1-29).
I am a slow learner, but that’s ok. The apostle Peter had to write two letters to his brethren to get them to think right . God is patient with me and not in a hurry to get His message across (II Peter 3:1,9).
It’s not too late for a man to have courage. I’m not talking about the kind of bravery demonstrated by Hollywood actors in action flicks. The type of courage I am referring to is characterized by a trust in God which brings strength and victory in the midst of overwhelming odds.
In my reality show, there should be no juvenile behavior. My actions ought to be ones that sacrifice for the sake of others and bring glory to God.