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September 2003 Archives

September 4, 2003


Ecclesiates 9:11
I returned and saw under the sun that -
The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.

I've stared a new book called Fooled By Randomness - The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and In Life. From his backgound as a Wall Street trader, the author (MBA, PhD) discusses the role luck plays in success. He suggests that the people who are paraded as geniuses are often the beneficiaries of fortunate circumstance, not superior intellect or strategy implementation. He attempts to support this view with mathamaticl equations and theories. I'm only on chapter 2, but thus far it's made for some interesting reading.

Little did I know that "the Preacher" in Ecclesiates held a similar view. There is a side to me that embraces the "Life Happens" philosophy. That even w/in the will of God we are subject to circumstances beyond our control that may benefit or hinder. Time and chance happen to them all. I'm comfortable with this this, just as I am with "Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ..." (2 Corinthians 2:14). How can I hold these view? Because I believe God's purpose for me is to conform me to the likeness of His Son. (Romans 8:29) I believe God is not limited by my circumstances. Instead he chooses to work within them for my good, accomplishing his purpose for me. (Romans 8:28)

So it doesn't matter if I'm lucky or not. It also means I'm not limited to my own abilities or skill. I'm free from comparing myself to others. And I'm able to see how God is working in my life.

Lord, thank You for working within the circumstances of my life.

September 9, 2003

Trip and Fall

Isaiah 3:8
NKJV - For Jerusalem stumbled, And Judah is fallen,
Because their tongue and their doings
Are against the Lord,
To provoke the eyes of His glory.

NLT - Judah and Jerusalem will lie in ruins because they speak out against the Lord and refuse to obey him. They have offended his glorious presence among them.-

I was struck by this passage today intially because of the poetic nature of the NKJV translation - "stumbled...fallen..." It brought to mind a track athelete running the hurdles who continually catches himself on the hurdle, never completely clearing it, casing him to stumble and fall. Covered then with scrapes and bruises, he never completes the race. I think I know many people for whom thier mouth erects hurdles in thier path that they are neer able to overcome. Empty promises, unfulfilled commitments, and even unjus accusations agaist God dishonors Him in such a way that He removes himelf from thier lives, leaving them to suffer the consequences of thier rebellion.

The one thing I cannot live without is God's presence. Lord, let me keep my mouth in check and my actions honorable in Your sight. I don't need self-erected hurdles to keep tripping me up. I want to finish my race.

September 15, 2003

God Doesn't Play Favorites

Galatians 2:6
But from those who seemed to be something - whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man - for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.

Paul is telling the story of his 2nd visit with Peter, James, and John. It was 14 years after his initialal visit with Peter (which followed Paul's self-imposed "exile" in Arabia). Established in his own sense of calling, Paul was not intimidated by this meeting, not was he envious of how much more "success" the other Apostles had had. They had not yet been really persecuted or faced the hardships that Paul had already. Their's could seem to be "cushy" assignments compared to the trials that Paul had faced in his ministry of the Gospel.

If I had been Paul, it would have been very easy to look at P,J & J and think, "why do they have it so easy? God, remember how you called me? Haven't you seen how diligent I have been? Look at the sacrifices I have made." I get caught up in that comparing game, looking a others who don't seem to be as "gifted" as I am (hello, pride), or who have had breaks that I haven't (hello, self-pity). It is a good reminder that God doesn't play favorites. Instead, I need to perceiveve the grace that had been given" to those around me (v. 9), and direct my energy to that which God had committed to me to do. It's all about assignment. It's all about process.

Lord, as hard as it may be, I will win the battle inside myself to stop comparingng and to be diligent with that which You have comitted to me.

About September 2003

This page contains all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in September 2003. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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