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Children are notoriously impatient – antsy is more like it. Mine were forced to hold my hand, stand in line at the hardware store, and forced to go “shopping” with mom. The waiting game inevitably broke them down emotionally – it’s called a meltdown. We had the “sit, flop, and fume” to the “Slap-the-toy out of your hand you are dangling in my face” to the “pouting Pearl Harbor” complete with explosions of anger and tears. On long drives to my parents every Christmas they all asked “Are we there yet?” Kids, right?
Men are just bigger versions of our “mini-me’s” with bigger needs and bigger destinations, but the same impatience – especially with God who, like our parents, does not wear our watch. We are trained by an “easy button” culture to believe that both private and public delays are the enemy. We are trained to lust after the product not endure the process. We work hard to ensure faster, smoother, and easier exactly to avoid slower, more difficult, and harder. Then life happens. Delays happen that we didn’t plan. Denials happen that we never expected.
- Tue Aug 19, 2014
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Unplanned events like a major loss, trauma or injury occur, often force a shift from Plan A to our trusty backup Plan B in life. In the last few days and weeks, we’ve witnessed a horrific compound fracture sustained by NBA great Paul George, an apparent suicide of comic legend Robin Williams, death of actress Lauren Bacall, reported crucifixions of Christians in Syria, and on-again, off-again truce between Israel and Gaza.
Remember playing the game Battleship? The opponent would call out a target such as, “B-10”and we reply with a “Hit”or “Miss.”Well, life has a way of dropping bombs in plans that may challenge our identity, our family, our marriage, professional status and even our faith. Like the game, the bombs hit where it hurts and we begin to sink.
These are only the newsworthy examples and a board game illustration, but I’m sure in all our lives, something has forced our Plan A to be sidelined so that Plan B could be called in.
We’re not alone. Even Jesus tried to call an audible before going to the cross, asking God for another way, a Plan B (Matthew 26-36-46). But ultimately, like Jesus, we need to resort to the fact there is a much better Plan G.
Getting to heaven is a simple proposition when you deconstruct it. Believe. More specifically, believe in Jesus (John 6:47). Say yes to the person and work of Jesus, mean it, and BOOM! You now have your sins forgiven, a purpose for living, and a home in heaven. But now what? Between earth (now) and my home in heaven (later), you have a “mission” from God only you can fulfill (Ephesians 2:10). In fact, there are specific works, or deeds as the Bible calls it, specifically assigned to you.
You can go on mission trips, volunteer at the local shelter, usher on weekend services. There are all kinds of ways you can serve. But it’s easy to get sidetracked by trying to find the ideal way for you to minister to others. In fact, it can become a burden for some as they strive to “work out” God’s plan. The good news is that it’s much simpler than that. The fact is God brings YOU opportunities, people and situations every day. That’s called the opposite of heavy work. So, here’s a twist on the light work God asks of you, and it has life-changing, eternal rewards. It’s an excellent gauge of where we are in our faith journey.
The sound of the explosion was heard up to 3,000 miles away in Perth Australia.
That is on the ground reports following the Krakatoa volcano eruption in Indonesia in 1883. Its “blast zone” was felt worldwide because of a strange event within the volcano which occurred as it was undergoing a “normal” explosion. So what happened you say?
The bottom line is this: something got inside it. Tuck that thought away for now as I give you a twenty second lesson in volcanology. Don’t worry. You can steal the illustration later at no charge!
As Krakatoa’s walls began to rupture after its first two explosions, ocean water entered the magamatic chambers of the volcano creating the conditions for a “phreatomagmatic” (pronounced free-atto-mag-matic) event. This was the secret power behind Krakatoa’s unusual force and displacement powers. In simpler terms: the mother of all pressure cookers was created, contained, and then carried outward at the moment when the power below overcame the pressure above holding it down.
The result: a super-explosion that, quite literally, rocked the world.
Sitting on a spiritual pressure cooker?
So what do “phreatomagmatic” volcanic events, Krakatoa, the Holy Spirit, and rocking the world have to do with God’s men in this age?
Men are notorious for nurturing superficial friendships that center around the safer subjects of sports, business, sex and almost anything other than what’s most important. We men protect our reputation and ego by surrounding ourselves with other men who want the same thing, and don’t want to expose any true vulnerabilities or be held accountable for behaviors. “How’s work going?” “Did you see the game last night?” is easier than “How’s the marriage?”
Over the last 15 years Every Man Ministries surveys reveal that only 1 in 10 men over 30 years have someone in their lives they would call a “true friend” who knows them at a deep or personal level. The irony of this reality is that we also know the margin of victory for men at the personal level is often… one other man, who is a true friend, who “gets under the rock” with you on the deep issues of life.