Archive for August, 2016

God Throws Rocks?

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

God Throws Rocks?

Colossians 3:1-4 (246)                                                                                                31 July 2016

You have been raised to life with Christ, so set your hearts on the things that are in heaven, where Christ image001sits on his throne at the right hand side of God.  Keep your minds fixed on things there, not on things here on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  Your real life is Christ and when he appears, then you too will appear with him and share his glory.

A builder was working three stories up on a construction site when he looked down and saw a woman unknowingly drop a parcel from her arms.  He tried to get her attention by calling out to her, but the noise of the traffic was just too loud.

So he searched for something in his pockets that he could throw down and hopefully to get her to look up.  He found a twenty cent piece – so he threw it down.  The woman didn’t realise where it had come from, thought that it had just fallen out of someone’s pocket, but she couldn’t see anyone around that was looking for a coin, so she picked it up and kept on walking.

The construction worker tried again – this time with a two-dollar coin, but with the same result.  So he looked around, found a reasonably large piece of scrap metal, and threw that down.  His aim was good, and he certainly didn’t hit the woman, but he did give her a bit of a fright.  She looked up, saw where it had come from and started to abuse the builder for his carelessness.

It took a little while, but he finally got through to her, that he wasn’t in any way trying to hurt her, but rather that he wanted to let her know that she’d dropped something.  The woman did thank him in the end, but she was still a little shaken by what had happened.

It can sometimes take a bit of a shock to get our attention too.  We can be absorbed in our own lives, busy with lots of important things – even busy helping people, serving in the church and community, doing the work that’s expected of us, raising our families and caring for others.  One day can run into another, one week into the next, and even one year after another.

And things might be going quite smoothly and pleasant.  We might be quite content with what’s happening, and not aware that anything should change, or that we might we missing out on something else.

We can be walking along the footpath of life, perhaps blissfully unaware that we may have lost something, be missing out on something, or that there’s something more that we could have to make us even more happy and joyful.

 

At times like this, our Lord God may be wanting to get our attention so that he can say something to us.  He throws some blessings down to us so that we’ll look up and see who’s talking.  He gives an exciting new opportunity for us to enjoy, or a recovery from an illness, or healing in a relationship, or an unexpected bonus from work, or a win in a competition, or satisfaction from some job completed, or a new friendship, or passing an exam.

Whatever it may be, whatever the gift or experience, it may be our Father saying through it: “Hey you, look up and thank me for it, and listen to some other things that I want to say to you”.

Often though, we can receive what we’re given, smile to ourselves with a sense of satisfaction, and just continue on our journey through life, with no thought of looking up.

 

So maybe, God has to drop some lumps of metal, some rocks, around us to really get our attention.  And sometimes it may seem as if the rocks get a bit too close, maybe even hit us and injure us a little – but that’s not God’s intention.  It’s never his desire to hurt anyone.  What he wants more than anything else is for us to look up and listen to what he has to say.

And when we do respond, we don’t hear him yelling at us, or making us always feel guilty or ashamed of what we’ve done; we don’t hear him demanding things from us like a dominating authoritative figure; and we don’t hear him telling us that we’ve got to come up to some kind of standard of behaviour before we can receive anything from him.

What he says and gives are things that can give us confidence, help us to cope better with life, and look to the future with real hope.  He comes to us with gifts and promises that can give us what we need to be able to have a good and positive attitude and a desire to serve him, despite what goes on around us.

He comes to us in and through his Son, Jesus Christ, to give us a hope that can enable us to live on despite all the struggles we face.  He comes to give us a peace of mind that can make us satisfied with what we have and not to always have to go after everything that seems bigger and better and brighter.  And he gives us a future to look forward to, a future that can give us certain victory over death and the grave.

 

There are lots of things that keep our attention, that stop us from looking up.  We spend time with our families.  We’ve got financial commitments.  Our sport and recreational activities are important.  And so are our homes and our work and our service in the community and the church.

And our Lord doesn’t want us to neglect any one of them.  We may be irresponsible if we did.  But God comes to us and wants us to have his perspective on all these things, and see how they fit into the overall scheme of his plan for our lives.

So he says, spend time with your families – and enjoy it.  See this as being the most important gift you can give them, and know that God wants to give you the peace, the patience and the wisdom to be a valuable family member.

Don’t forget your financial commitments – but believe that God can provide for you even when you have to pull in your belt and make some sacrifices.

Be involved in some sport or recreational activity – not to prove you’re better than others, but see that through it God wants you to enjoy life, build relationships with others, and use it as a way to help others to have a healthy outlook on life.

Put an effort into caring for your home, do your work to the best of your ability, and serve others in the community and in the church – but see these things not as burdensome or drudgeries, but as ways in which God can work in and through you to use the gifts he’s given you.

 

In everything then, look up and see the blessings God’s given to you, look up and thank your Father for the opportunities you have to touch the lives of others, look up and see that God has a plan for you and a reason for putting you here.

 

 

He doesn’t want you to be focussed on merely surviving or just putting up with the things of this world.  He doesn’t want you to spend your energies on doing things that are just going to make a difference in this world – because this world won’t go on for ever, and you won’t go on for ever, and because he’s got much more in store for you than even the best that you experience now.

God adds a new and exciting dimension to life.  Life is more than food and clothing, working hard and paying the bills, scrimping and saving simply to keep our heads above water.  It’s also more than having employment, raising a family and participating in and enjoying life in our community.  Those things are a part of life, but they don’t make up the full meaning of life.

 

You have been raised to life with Christ, so set your hearts on the things that are in heaven, where Christ sits on his throne at the right hand side of God.  Keep your minds fixed on things there, not on things here on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  Your real life is Christ and when he appears, then you too will appear with him and share his glory.

You have been raised to life with Christ.  The fact is that we may not always want to hear that.  We can be so content to just live this life – where things are reasonable and comfortable, and maybe most of the time happy.

But God has something more that he wants us to have, something greater, something better, and he invites us to look up to him, listen to him, and receive what he has to offer.

We have life in and with Jesus Christ.  We have God’s presence with us, God’s promises for us and God’s protection over us – in Christ; we have forgiveness for our sins; we have the opportunity of a new start in life every day; we have hope for the future; we have the free gift of eternal life.

 

God just might throw some rocks our way at times to help us see this and appreciate his gifts, but his intention is always good.  He wants to get us to look up and listen, and receive what he wants us to have.

So lift up your eyes.  Set your sights on the rich treasures that you can’t buy with cash or a credit card.  God has new and rich experiences that he wants you to enjoy.  He wants you to have real joy and peace in your lives, and a confidence that when this life is over, you’ll have another better life to enjoy forever.  Amen.