Saturday, September 21, 2013

Where did I put those Goggles?

Just got back from the hospital a while ago: had to have a metal fragment removed from my cornea after I accidentally installed it there while cutting steel.  All kidding aside, the pain was tremendous and it was all I could do to keep from punching the doctor while she worked on my poor eye.  All of this ordeal of course got me thinking: how could a little piece of metal, (I mean you could hardly see it, barely a spec embedded in the cornea of my eye, just above the pupil), cause so much pain to a grown man?

Well that's the irony of the whole thing isn't it?  The pain for me was a strong reminder of just what it is that I have and what it is I am supposed to do.  Life...and Life more abundant!

Yes I know not much of a revelation but hear me out for just a minute.  I want to give you a rationale for this small ordeal I am enduring right now and why.  The most obvious message within all of this of course is"Where are his safety goggles...dummie?"  Well, like every man I will tell you "I don't need them, I'm tough!  Just dig out the spec so I can get back to work!"
But then, that's just my pride getting in the way of the truth.

Aah, that's the ticket.  Pride got in the way.   Or did it?  It is possible that I simply forgot to put on the safety goggles that I knew where in my toolbox.  Or could it be that I chose not to put them on instead?  Opting out for the faster route, skipping the all important step of protecting my eyes and moving right on to the business at hand; cutting steel, regardless of the outcome or damage during the course of.

I hope some of you see where I am going with this: the extra result was not what I expected.  Oh sure, I got the steel cut for the project I was working on, but ended up with some unintended consequences as well!

Seems like life is full of that isn't it?  I mean speaking of course about my life, not yours.  Choosing to do what I know is right with anything always gets me the result I am looking for.  The outcome invariably changes a bit whenever I shortcut the method of operation somehow.  I might get the results I am looking for even if I do shortcut the process, but I always have extra results as well, most times unwelcome results!

My eye is just a tiny example of what can go wrong when you do not do things right.  The pain, as intense as it is, is only a small reminder of the pain that can be inflicted on a life when wrong decisions are made. 

So what am I trying to rationalize here?  Could it be that I am faced daily with many decisions that God allows me to make because He has given me the gift of choice?  Or is it more likely that I am only choosing based on my moral foundation, that given me from my family, my raising, my heritage, my common sense?
Aah, the philosophy of it all! 

Two camps available to each and every one of us: Choose to live for God.
                                                                                 Choose to live for me.
In a nutshell, is this what it comes down to, me or God?

Well, frankly...yes.  When I choose to live for me, there are always results from the decisions that I have to make each day that I may not necessarily expect; or want!  Just think about it for a second.  When you have made decisions that only build your little kingdom, your life, have there been people hurt by your decisions?  Is there collateral damage for your selfish choices?  Building the kingdom of me is selfish, greedy and has little to no concern for others.  Unless of course you have something I want, then I might pay attention to you a little more!  Most of us live our lives in the kingdom of me, creating tiny kingdom bubbles around us that we control; we decide who we talk too, associate with, give assistance too.  Take a look at your own life right now, are you living comfortably in your created little kingdom?  Is your routine so familiar that you need not think about anything going on in the world?  When things happen in the world, are they so far removed from your senses that you respond with abject boredom or even disbelief?  What focuses your attention?  Is it the newest iphone just come out on the market?  Or is it the newest year of that Toyota Tundra that just won truck of the year again?  Is your kingdom growing from within, with physical stuff that you "need"?
Don't get me wrong, I know we need to live with things in order to make life easier, after-all man-kind is very inventive, having developed technology to a level never before seen!  But what turns your head in your life?  Are you focused on the stuff more than others?

When I choose to live for God, and live by His guiding statutes, then my decisions always result without unintended consequence.  When my decisions fall in line with the Word of God,  I hurt no-one.  Invariably I am living my life in service of others building up the Kingdom of God and not mine: doing good, sharing my gifts, teaching and leading others to do the same.  The Word gives me life, and life more abundant!  Ironically, when I choose to live for God, He blesses me with more than I could have imagined!

The fact is, life is hard...and I put it to you this way.
I would rather have  a life without unintended consequences.  Don't get me wrong, I still make the wrong decisions some time, a lot of the time.  But I believe I am on the right track, each day the Lord shows up with a blessing for me, an opportunity to make the right decision and build His Kingdom through the work He has given us to do.  I hope and pray you make similar choices in each of your lives, choices without unintended consequences.

Now where did I put those goggles?