DayBreaks for 12/05/17: Faith, With Nikes On
From the DayBreaks archive, December 2007:
It never ceases to fascinate me when I pause to consider how different people are from one another. Some are tall, others short. Some fat, some anorexic. Some laugh and find a lot of joy in life while others are grim, depressed and seem to be captivated by the negative side of things.
I am the kind of person who likes chaos. You’d know that about me if you ever saw my office when I worked in the computer world, or even now! My desktop usually looks like Katrina had just blown through the office. Piles here, stacks there – I suppose to any outsider looking at it, they’d think it was totally in disarray and that no one could ever find anything in that mess. But somehow, I do just fine in that environment. My high-tech job at the end was very diverse, I had many wonderful managers working under my direction on all kinds of products and services. If I was ever allowed to spend more than about 20 minutes at time on any particular topic, I’d start to get bored. I love chaos. I function well under chaos. But not all people do. And that’s OK, too!
Sometimes it isn’t just our desktops or purses or garages that get chaotic, it’s life itself. Just a few days ago, we learned that one of my wife’s cousins went into the hospital and has found out now that she’s got stage 4 cancer. Between Saturday and Monday, her world and life was turned upside down. A huge wind blew in and rearranged everything. She’d been planning to sell her house (it’s on the market, but here in California right now, that doesn’t mean a thing), she was looking forward to retirement (that’s the main reason she was selling the house – so she could retire and start to draw her retirement checks) and to watching her grandchildren grow. All of that suddenly was ripped away from her in one hugely chaotic moment, with just 3 words: “You have cancer.”
A friend of mine (and brother in Christ) is going to be divorced soon – his wife chose to leave him and took the two little children with her, moving clear across this great land that we call home – breaking her home in the process. She doesn’t want to be married to him anymore. His world, too, has become chaotic.
Compared to those two people, my life is a piece of cake.
But what are we to do when the winds of chaos howl and blow through our lives? We’re to do the same thing we do when only the slightest breeze ruffles our lives. Here’s how Andre Seu put it: The alternative is to remember that the fundamental things apply in cataclysms as well as calm times. To wit: Do the right thing; one foot in front of the other; one piece of the problem at a time; take lunch, exercise, sleep. I remember the counselor Jay Adams saying that the trouble is not usually that we don’t know what to do but that we don’t do it long enough. We give up just before the breakthrough would have come. Like Screwtape said, “It is so hard for these creatures to persevere.” But persevering is what it’s all about. Persevering is just faith with Nikes on. – Andre Seu, World Magazine, 12/1/07
In times of chaos, do the right thing – one step at a time, one piece of the problem at a time, persevere. In times of calm, do the right thing – one step at a time, one piece of the problem at a time, persevere. It was Jesus’ model, and it works. Strap on your Nikes!
2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NIV) – May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
PRAYER: Father, may we be at peace even in the storm, may we be prepared to run the distance and finish well regardless of chaos or calm. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.