Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lent Day 41 (Wednesday)

Exercise: None (Rest/Weather).  Wednesdays are one of the days that this summer I'm expecting that I'll use as personal training time.  Pick a route, go out and work on my form or just get base exercise/miles in.  That said, the weather is still below average right now, and after 3 months of cold enough weather, having to layer up and deal with being cold on the bike isn't making getting on the road very easy.  


Mark 13:3-8
New King James Version (NKJV)

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”
5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. 7 But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles.[a] These are the beginnings of sorrows.
Thoughts:  There was a time when I would look at a rant, or a flame war, and believe that I could "win".  That I could somehow be so methodical, so fluent in my thoughts and my wordsmithing, that I would "teach someone" a lesson.  What I've learned, primarly the hard way, is that there are no winners in these contests.  They are a contest of pure will, and much like a peacock presents his plumage to show is dominance publicly, these displays are nothing more than a visual show for the author's own benefit.  In the end all parties involved walk away believing "I showed them, and maybe I opened up their eyes to the 'truth'."  Neither side is actually interested in knowing the real truth, they believe they already know it.  Facts no longer matter, because the views are already established. In the end, the reality is that it's just a train wreck for others to feast upon, set on the stage of public opinion.

I can't say that I don't delve into these issues anymore.  I attempt to know better, and to stay away from them.  They "disturb my calm", to butcher quote a character from the TV Show Firefly.  They do not add any real positive to my day, and they do not help me to be more productive to anyone that I have to interact with on a regular basis.  

This begs the question of "why should I even interact with these people at all?"  This is a sticky question for me, and I do ponder this every so often.  The reality is that I am not called to only be around like minded people.  I am called to bear witness, and to testify to the Truth.  That isn't to say that I'm going to start preaching on the streets of Greenville.  What it means is that there will be times in my life where the situation will be presented to me where I'm expected to use my talents to help another person with their struggles by sharing the Gospel.  It may be received, it may not be.  I cannot force someone to be saved, free will allows them to chose their own path, destructive as it may be.  I am likewise not called to judge them, or to mock them.  If I actively drive them away, not only am I not following my calling, but I may be forcing them to stumble by not being where I'm supposed to be.  

Does this mean I need to be surrounded by people that are actively attacking my belief system in the name of "equality", looking to judge me by my faith?  I don't believe that this is the case.  People will enter and exit my life at God's chosing.  I have to be humble and aware of what His calling is for those interactions, and prepared to do his will at those intersections.   Whether it's in times to be quiet, times to speak out, or times to be there because they are in need.  I just need to remember that when I speak out, I do not just speak out with my own voice, but those that are not saved are hearing me as a representative of Christ.  My words, and my actions, are thereby held to a different standard than someone that is following the laws of Man.  I cannot believe that engaging in any level of flame war furthers the Kingdom of God.  I am called to love that person, and know that Sin is the enemy, not my neighbor.  It's not an easy calling, and I can say with impunity that I am not an expert in walking this path.  But it's a path that I should be focused on following.

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