Monday, June 16, 2008
Yesterday at church our pastor told the story about an old man out on a road with his broken down Model T. He was trying to get it started, you know, with the hand crank up at the front of the car. Needless to say he was tired and frustrated. A very fine car drove up beside him, a man in an expensive suit got out and walked over to the broken down car and the owner. It was obvious to the wealthy man that the owner was having trouble with his car. He asked him if he could take a look at it. The owner suspiciously said, "sure." The wealthy man began to adjust this, adjust that and before long the car started. The owner, thankful but puzzled asked him how he knew what to do to the car. The wealthy man replied, "I created it. My name is Henry Ford."
Well, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to get the point...so I got it.
The creator knows his creation. How it runs. How it works best. What to do when it is broken. The Creator knows His creation. What we want. What we need to be happy. What to do when we are broken.
Our pastor told this story to begin the third of a three-part lesson from Philippians 4: 6-8.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things."
Being anxious. OK. Now, that's an area where I could sure use some fixin'. Some big-time fixin'.
And just like Mr. Ford knew his creation, God knows me. He has given me a perfect prescription for living my life free of anxiety. It's right up above. Philippians 4:6-8.
But also like Mr. Ford, God gives us the choice to be fixed or not. Mr. Ford didn't go up to the owner of the Model T, knock him out of the way, and start working on his car. He asked. He waited for an answer. God always gives us a choice. To do it our way or to do it His. Sometimes, I wish He didn't. Sometimes, I wish He would override this stubborn will of mine and all the bad habits. But He waits. He waits till I'm ready.
Our pastor, who always gets back to the topic of grace, reminded us that even if we choose to worry, to fret, to think on things that are the opposite of those listed in Philippians, that we will still be His children. If we ignore His prescription, He will still love us and we will continue to enjoy many of His blessings. But, we also get to stay right where we are. In a pit of worry and misery.
I'm like the old man with the broken car. I am a bit puzzled how this will work. But I have learned His ways are not my ways. And my ways haven't been working very well.
"Be anxious for nothing.
In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God."
"Meditate on things that are true. Things that are noble and just. Things that are pure and lovely. Think about things that are of a good report. Choose to think about things that have virtue and that are praiseworthy."
I think I'm ready.