Wednesday, February 15, 2012

throw me a lifeline will you

i love that joke about the guy who is floating along in a lifeboat because his boat had sunk in the middle of the ocean and he is asking god to rescue him. have you heard this one? he asks god to help him, well, low-and-behold a ship comes by, a cruise liner with tons of room, and the lone stranded captain of the lifeboat says, "no thanks, god will save me." another ship comes sailing along, this one an oil tanker, and the man again says, "no thanks, my god is big enough to save me." the man prays again, "lord save me from this circumstance." another boat comes cruising by, this one a cargo ship, and the man says again, "no thank you, my faith tells me that god will supply my need of rescuing." well, the guy drowns. i know sad story. he goes to heaven and is frustrated with god and asks him, "why didn't you save me, i prayed and prayed for rescue?!?!" gods response is simply, "you dummy i sent three large vessels to go by you and you didn't get on any of them!"

i am sure god wouldn't call anyone a dummy whatever the case. but i like this joke because it describes me far too often. maybe that is why i think about it more than most jokes. i am definitely the kind of person that will not ask for help and then get mad at you for not helping.

here is the logic in my head:

you should notice the need before i should have to ask.

this gets me into trouble because it shows that i am really wanting people to pay attention to me more than they should. i like to think that i watch out for others needs and that i attend to them even if they don't ask. but the truth is i don't pay attention as much as i think i do. many times i feel like i am stretching far more than anyone else is and especially when i am without everyday commodities that others have taken for granted. part of me takes pride in a "suffering for jesus" kind of mentality; and there it is again, that word, "pride." it is really hard to take pride in suffering for jesus if no one will notice how hard i am suffering. all that to say thank you lord for continuing to teach me humility because no one should be impressed with my suffering for your names sake.

all of this leads to a grumbling and complaining spirit. comparing what you have to others and possibly exhibiting jealous outbursts. you may still be able to get things done but not as quickly nor with the same amount of fervor as if you had just let god do what god does instead of trying to play god yourself. if this ideology is in your worldview then it really messes with you. when encountering others who genuinely struggle with generosity your worldview of you should know my needs will really not blend well with that individual.

and we begin to ask...
where is my provision,
where is my break through,
where is my blessing and ultimately
where is my JUSTICE?

uh-oh, justice, JUSTICE!?!?!? yes this has been my deduction. i am looking forward to teaching my son fairness/justice. i think he is getting it and who knows maybe i won't have to teach him that lesson. but ultimately i have to look at "the word" and because i am a sinner what i deserve is hell. thank god i don't have to receive that. so with everything else that pertains to what god gives and what he is providing, i must look and measure, according to the cross of christ, my actions and not the deeds of others.

my conclusion is that i have freely been given, therefore too i must freely give away. the measure of generosity received is proportionate to the generosity given. this is just one more of those axioms that seem to clash with how the real world operates. jesus was constantly asking and doing, i might add most sublimely, what he saw as an exact demonstration and operation of the kingdom of heaven. but this should not be of any surprise because he is the radiance of his glory and the exact representation of his nature (hebrews 1:3).

finally brethren rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the god of love and peace shall be with you (2 cor. 13:11).


Hannah B. said...

Great blog Zach, spoke to me.

bullets said...

thanks hannah, i am still walking in this. it is difficult for me to get over just "asking" sometimes.