Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hope for Change

Judges 6:12-13 (New International Version)
12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."
13 "But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian."

Sometimes the events that overtake us in life are mystifying; but the human race has a great capacity to be deluded and some of the things that make us wonder; shouldn't.

A couple of years ago I read a really good book by Dr. Henry Cloud, called, 9 Things You Simply MUST DO to Succeed in Love and Life. Principle number 3 of his list of 9, was called, "Play the Movie," by which he meant, understand cause and effect. This is how he put it:

"There are several ways to think about Principle Three. The simplest is to look at it merely as a matter of cause and effect. "If you do A, then B will happen." That may be the easiest way, but it doesn't illustrate the profound nature of it. Experience takes us much farther than that. It's more like this: If I do A, not only will B happen, but C will too. And D and F and so on and on."

Gideon asked, "Why has all this happened to us?" and declared that the LORD had abandoned the people of Israel.

But verse 1 of Judges 6 says this: Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites.

There is wisdom and hope in taking responsibility for the many small choices I make in a day.

The hope comes when I "Play the Movie" and look at the end result of what I'm doing now. If I don't like the end result--I can change what I'm doing. Yes, I can change the end of the movie, just like those movies that now come with a choice of endings!

I hate to admit this, but after the speeding ticket that I got a couple of months ago, I got another one; two tickets in one month. As the police officer took my drivers license to his car, I was sure that he'd think I was a maniac on the loose and really hit me as hard as I deserved. He was very merciful though, and I decided then that I would be a different kind of driver from that moment on. I have been keeping in my mind the mantra, "Drive relaxed," and have been keeping within the speed limit.

There are other areas I'm working on and I've made myself accountable to friends and co-workers--healthier eating habits and being on time are two of them; and there are other giants yet to be toppled in my life.

The thing is that there is hope for any of us. We serve the God of Hope. Anything is possible with God.

Job 11:18 (New International Version)
18 You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

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