“Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into one.”
I read the above quote (from Rick Warren) a few weeks ago – and I wasn’t sure if I agreed with it. Today I’m sure that I do. Warren goes on to add, “The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in charactar, in Christ likeness”
Truer words have never been spoken. Warren goes on in the interview to explain that he used to think that life was a series of hills and valleys – that you have ups and downs – good times and then bad — but he says that he doesn’t believe that anymore. Instead, he says that life is more “like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.”
He explains that at any given moment – no matter how “good” things are in your life – there’s always something bad that needs improving. And no matter how bad things get – there’s always something good that you should be thanking God for.
This way of thinking makes a lot of sense to me. If we think of life as being two rails – something good and something bad – it leaves us with a choice to make each day. We can focus on and accentuate the good – or we can obsess about the bad. We must make this choice daily – and soemtimes multiple times each day.
Last week I discovered that a very close family member has a longterm and very active drug addiction – including the frequent use of crystal meth and various pain killers. Last week I also lost my cousin Jerald – whom I grew up with. We were in the same graduating class. He left behind a wife and two lovely young children. I married he and his bride about 14 years ago. Then on Saturday I preached his funeral. Bad stuff.
And yet – I am very happily married. I have three beautiful and wonderful children. I have a loving and supportive extended family. I have many friends who are there for me. I serve a church that I love – and I see God’s handiwork all around me.
The good stuff about this church that I love is an entirely new category in and of itself — This past Sunday we celebrated another Baptism (5 in the last 3 weeks), and two more families formally joined the church (9 in the last 3 weeks)! We sent a small team off on a mission trip, and welcomed home a young lady from a 2 week trip to Ecuador.
Yep — there are two rails in our lives at all times. One carrying the good – and one carrying the bad. Which one will I focus on today? Tomorrow? I have to make the choice daily, and so do you.
What is your "Life is...?"