Thursday, August 09, 2007

Launching Pad

The shuttle lifted off to another mission this week. We stood in the parking lot of the church and felt the ble minutes later. The launch had a beautiful orange tail that changed colors as it made it's way through the atmosphere. The trail of smoke was towering, then bent as the shuttle found it's "window" to space. The winds in the sky then seemed to make the rocket trail dance a bit as the shuttle became a bright star in the sky.

How long did it take to get to this point? The teacher that was on board waited 20 years for this. She signed up when another teacher was getting ready to blast off in '86. There were months of preparation, training and medical testing. For the vehicle, there was repair, tune-ups, computer upgrades and test after test after test.

When we discover that God has a purpose for us, we go to great lengths to discover it. A whole industry is built around this quest. We spend our money on thousands of self-help books, life coaches and "find yourself" conferences...only to find ourselves looking to the sky and asking God, "Who am I?"

Did you know that you are still on the launch pad? Don't let that discourage you! There is a lot of testing to go through. There are upgrades, repairs and lots and lots of training.

Get real with yourself, if you were told what your God-given purpose was right'd be very excited. But then after you told everyone and thought about it...wouldn't it be a bit scary? Would the doubts creep in, or much worse...what if like a Christmas gift that you open on December 20th, it gets forgotten and shoved in a corner?

You do have a God-given purpose. The more you see yourself on the launch pad getting ready for your "mission", the less you will worry about it. For now, your duty is to care for that baby or parent. That training is being a loyal employee and doing your best for your boss. That repair is reading your Bible, studying the Word and growing in your faith. It may sound like ho-hum every day stuff...but to God it's being faithful in all things. Matthew 25:14-30

And as your faith grows and you become the person God knew you were when He created you, countdown will commence and you will be ready for the ride of your life!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Fish Tale

In August it rains a lot in Florida. You can pretty much count on afternoon rainstorms that last 20 minutes and dump an inch or more. Today was no different. I had errands to run and the rain started. After an hour with no let up, I figured I better get going. I wouldn’t melt.

On the way out of my neighborhood, there were huge puddles. Ponds were so full they were spilling into the street. And then I saw it…no lie: catfish in the street. These ugly mud-colored fish were trying to swim on the asphalt. One curious driver was outside of his vehicle in the rain, touching a catfish with the toe of his boot. I don’t think he thought it was real. I watched another slither off into the grass.

I bet the fish were more surprised than we were.

How is life going for you today? Have you had a little rain in your life? I wonder, has the problems and worries of this life driven you out of your comfort zone? Do you, like the fish, find yourself struggling as you make your way to safer waters?

I want you to know, that feeling that you get when you know you’re not where you need to be is no daydream. We are aliens on this planet.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe we’re from Mars, or our ancestors are little green men. The Bible tells us we are strangers in this world. Just like those catfish didn’t belong on the street, we belong in heaven with God. (2 Corinthians 5:1)

God puts in the heart of every man and woman a longing. Some people call it a God-shaped hole. We feel like a fish on the road, making our way to the next puddle…the next paycheck, the next romance, the next drink, the next buzz. Why waste your time trying to find that thing that makes you feel whole or right again? I know what you’re missing my dear fish. You need water…living water. And I know just Who can supply it.

Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." John 4:13-14