Certainty in What?

In the last week, the world situation has grown significantly darker.  The Middle East has been smoldering for a long time, and now the hot wind of mistrust and violence is blowing over the glowing coals.  One cannot help but wonder when the flames will begin to rise.  I am not trying to be pessimistic, but when I look out at the current events, the question springs unbidden into my subconscious mind, “What does all this mean for me?”  There are many things in the current global arena that are cause for concern, and also many events that are closer to home.  I have long been under the conviction that the future will prove this time period to be pivotal in the history of the world.

Life is uncertain right now.  While we are not necessarily in peril of our lives, the affects of the turmoil can and will be felt around the world.  On the other hand, the U.S. may default on its loans and Chinese will become a useful language over here.  (That would be one of the unexpected repercussions of global events that would greatly affect me.)  Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think doomsday is around the corner.  I have simply been looking at the possibilities and thinking to myself that there are a lot of things in play at the moment.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Thanks for the heads up, but life was tough enough without you highlighting all the potential disasters that might threaten civilization.”  I know that what I have said above is not particularly encouraging, but I am getting to what I actually wanted to say. We, as humans, seem to always look for a stabilizing force in what we do; we are always trying to find equilibrium.  If it is hot around us, we seek the cool.  If it is cold, we seek warmth.  The same goes with our non-physical surroundings.  When times are uncertain, we naturally want to turn to something that is certain.

So what is certain in this life?  I can’t say what that is for others.  I know some that would say relationships, others family.  I know some that would say God.  Others, who are perhaps of a more practical mindset, that only death is certain.  (There I go again being really encouraging.) For me, the only certain thing in this world is the God of the Bible.  There is never anything that is more certain than God.

That may seem somewhat contradictory to the skeptic.  How can something that cannot be proven to exist be certain?  If a God exists, He would be outside the realm of the physical world and consequently, can hardly be considered a certainty to be depended upon.  The only real response to this argument is that experiential evidence tells me that my faith in God is not a leap into the darkness, as it would possibly seem to someone without that evidence.  I cannot prove that God exists.  But God can prove to me that he exists.  There is another way to look at the certainty of God.  Perhaps it is a good thing that God is not of this physical world.  The physical world is the thing is so uncertain.  If God were of this world, what would make Him more certain than everything else?  George Whitefield brought all this thought into line for me when I read this quote.

“We are immortal till our work is done.”

This quote is interesting to me because it describes in so few words God’s sovereignty over the world’s events.  Now I am not about to get into a theological discussion, but I just think it is neat to consider all the implications of that statement.  Nothing that happens to the Christian, be it good or bad, is outside God’s knowledge.  Nothing will happen to the Christian that will thwart Gods plan.  In that knowledge the Christian can feel a certainty that no one else can.

Earlier in this post I said that “for me” the only certain thing is God.  I believe that God is the only certain thing.  The only difference is whether you are grounding your certainty on him.  To those who are not yet able to ground that certainty on God, I would just say, that He is there.  When everything else is uncertain, He is still there.  The decision is yours:  On what are you placing your certainty?

Wyatt Fairlead

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Dreams

“Never let your dreams steal the joy from reality.”

-Sherry Phillips Carlstrom

            A friend of mine was thinking one day and decided to post this thought of hers on Facebook.  This quote jumped out at me as soon as I read it.  It seems relatively straightforward.  There are no hidden meanings or paradoxes, but to me at least, this short sentence contains very profound truth.

I am not sure if anyone has noticed this, but a large percentage of my posts on this blog are motivational or encouraging in nature.  This is not because I am a naturally encouraging person.  It is because when I am writing posts, I am usually writing exactly what is going through my mind.  I would not say that I dream big per say, but my mind is always coming up with things that I would like to do and make.  In that sense, I dream a lot and often.  The main problem with this is that I am relatively quick to be discouraged.  (Not a good combination.)  Consequently, I am always looking for things that remind me that failure is not the end and that I just have to try again.

Then I read this quote.  I think that too often I have let my dreams steal the joy from reality.  I view what I have created through the lens of how it is not what I had in mind, instead of viewing it as something that has been created in and of itself.  I had never thought about this before.  I have no idea about anyone else, but I have a hunch that often the discouragement that people feel is caused by some vision that they have.  I may dream of one day becoming a famous artist, (purely for example, because I don’t) but the fact is that I am not skilled enough to be that world famous artist.  I am quite certain that I don’t have it in me.  Now I have two options.  I can let that reality traumatize me, or I can accept it and enjoy the reality that I can draw my unrealistic little ship pencil sketches, which is more than I might have been able to do.

Of course there is danger in this mind set as well, if you take it to the extreme.  If you’re always happy with the status quo then you never grow.  The goal is to be somewhere in the middle.  You may notice in the quote, it doesn’t say, “Stop dreaming, because they will steal the joy from reality.”  Dream away!  Dreams make you grow.  Dreams can drive you to new heights and great discoveries if you let them.  You simply must not let them steal the joy from reality.  You can’t be driven along by your dreams if you are constantly discouraged by the fact that you haven’t attained them yet, even if you don’t think that you will ever be able to attain them.  The goal is to be in the place of being satisfied with what you can do, but always trying to do more.  I am having a little difficulty putting into words exactly what I mean, but I just thought of a poem that I think puts it rather nicely, so here it is.

Be The Best Of Whatever You Are

-Douglas Malloch

If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill

Be a scrub in the valley – But be

The best little scrub by the side of the hill;

Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,

And some highway happier make;

If you can’t be a Muskie than just be a bass-

But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains; we’ve got to be crew,

There’s something for all of us here.

There’s big work to do and there’s lesser to do,

And the task we must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway, then just be a trail,

If you can’t be a sun, be a star;

It isn’t by size that you win or you fail-

Be the best of whatever you are!

It is a fun poem but it makes the point well.  You may not be the best ever, but be the best of whatever you are.  Be your best.  Dream, and let those dreams help make you your best.

Wyatt Fairlead