Do I Have Egg on My Face?

This morning, I was fixing a simple breakfast which included scrambled eggs.  As I smacked the first egg on the edge of the counter, it didn't crack.  I smacked it harder and a small crack appeared.  After the third whack on the counter, the shell finally broke.  "Man," I said to myself, "that was a hard shell."  The second egg was exactly the same. It took three tries to break the silly thing.  By the third egg, I had learned my lesson.  I forcefully whacked the egg, the shell breaking into a million pieces and egg running everywhere.  The shell of the third egg was paper thin.  It would have broken under a mild squeeze.

I see a couple of valuable lessons in this story. (Hey, at least something good can come from the mess I made.)  First off, how often are we like the first two eggs with shells that seem impenetrable?  How many times does God have to "smack us on the counter" before we'll break?  You see, while God does want what's best for us, sometimes that requires us to first reach a place of brokenness.  But like the eggs, we don't want to be broken.  We don't want to release everything that we've been keeping inside.  We're fearful of the change that will take place once we're broken.  And so, we resist.

The second thing I took away from the morning mess was a reminder of Proverbs 3:5:  Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  This morning, I was leaning on my own understanding, and it led to disaster.  Through my flawed thinking, I assumed that since the first two eggs had been difficult to crack, the third would be the same way.  It wasn't.  I made a decision based on faulty conclusions just like I often do in life.  I study the situation and act in a way that makes sense to me.  The problem is that God's ways don't always make sense, and because of that, I often ignore them and go about things the way I see fit.  The result?  You guessed it -- egg everywhere!

If you think about it, the two lessons actually go together rather well.  If we're trusting in the Lord and not leaning on our own understanding, we won't be so hard-shelled to begin with.  We'll allow the Lord to break us because we'll trust that He knows best.  So what's it going to be -- trust in the Lord or egg on the face. . .and the counter. . .and the floor. . .?

***Excerpt from Daily Discussions of a Doubting Disciple***

Don't Rock the Boat

On Sunday, my pastor read a quote from a book on church signs. The quote went something like this: "If you're busy rowing the boat, you won't have time to rock it." How true! How true!

Is it just me or does it seem like the people who cause the most trouble are those who aren't doing anything? You know the type. They stand there and criticize everything you do but never offer to help. They complain about not having programs for this or that, yet are unwilling to pitch in to get any new programs started. They're generally busy bodies and energy drainers, and I want nothing to do with them.

The problem is that at one time or another, I find myself to be the boat rocker. Not that I don't stay busy, but somehow I find the time to complain about things instead of getting in there and doing the work myself. Now please understand, there's a very fine line to walk here. No one should overextend themselves. It's simply not possible for us to say "yes" to every invitation or request that is issued. To do so would result in burnout and possible bitterness. The key is that if you can't fit it into your schedule, then don't commit to it. That's fine. . . but don't complain about it either.

Jesus said we are to occupy until He comes. That means to stay busy. So let's be sure we're busy about the right things, namely rowing the boat instead of rocking it.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. - Ecclesiastes 9:10

***Excerpt from Mindful Musings of  Moody Motivator***

Whistling a Different Tune

Go get your Bible. Really. I'll wait. Got it? Now, turn to Psalm 73 and read it. Do you see the pity party Asaph was having? Unfortunately, it sounds like one I've had myself (and more often than once). It goes something like this:

"God, why do the wicked get whatever they want. They continually disobey you, yet they have more money, nicer homes, and better cars than I could ever dream of having. They seem to have a perfect life, and it's just not fair. I try to serve you every day, but I'm still struggling just to make ends meet."

Sound familiar? Come on, admit it. You've thrown one of these parties yourself, haven't you? If we're honest, I think we've all had these thoughts at least once in our lifetime. But, what I really want to point out is the change of heart in verse 17.

Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

At this point, Asaph's pity party turned into a praise party.

Asaph finally turned his eyes away from himself and others, and he placed his attention on God. What a difference it made! He spends the rest of the chapter praising God for what He has done and what He will do. He ends the chapter by saying, But it is good for me to draw near to God.

Amen to that!

So, if you're in the midst of a glorious pity party, get your eyes off of yourself and your circumstances. Instead, look to God who is much greater than any situation you may be in. Call on His name. Give Him praise. Thank Him in advance for the blessings that He has yet to give you, and don't forget to give thanks for the many blessings you've already received. As Asaph said, it is good to draw near to God, and you can't do that and throw a pity party at the same time. It is true that life is not always fair, but it is also true that God is just. He will make all things right. After all, if we have Him, we truly have all that we need.

Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. - Psalm 73:25