Get out of the Present Tense – Part I


You can tell a lot about people by what kills them!

Why are we dying in the US? The CDC has completed their mortality report for 2003. The top three reasons are:

1- Heart disease
2 – Cancer
3 – Stroke

Two of these three disease are brought on by the stress, struggles, strain, and tension of life in our modern world. (And perhaps cancer, but we don’t know much about that one!)

Too much in a hurry to slow down

Recently, a movie entitled “A Meditation on the Speed Limit” won the Campus Movie Fest award for best comedy in Georgia.

They knew it was dangerous.

“We could have really been hurt,” said one of the Atlanta college students after their experiment.

“I was pretty sure that I was doing something stupid,” said another.

They were not driving 100 miles per hour on the Interstate. These students drove 55 mph (the speed limit) on I-285 around Atlanta. The Article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution says:

“There was little doubt what the students’ companions on the road thought that sunny Friday in January. The video shows drivers’ steadily mounting hostility to the blockade. Cars honk. They drive onto the shoulder to speed around the students. Obscene gestures are made.”

Here, we are lashing out, not at those who are abiding by the law but at those who refuse to break the law. We are in such a rush that it doesn’t seem to matter who we kill in the process! Even if it is us!

We are too busy learning, making money, having fun, and doing stuff that we don’t have any time to sit and think! I grade papers, listent to my favorite podcast and eat lunch at the same time. This is insane!

An Experiment for the Doubtful

If you don’t believe me, tomorrow, do an experiment. Sit on a bench or stand on a corner somewhere and watch.

Notice the faces lined with worry, the furrowed brows, the tired hurried look. Look at the tense shoulders and the fast pace.

Notice how people act. Are they short tempered? Do they frown? Are they irritated? Do they avoid eye contact? Are they impatient? They are everywhere and very often us!

They are angry at people for making them wait. Angry at people for making them hurry. Angry at people who drive too fast. Angry at people who drive to slow. Angry. Angry. Angry. Fume! Why won’t the world get its act together? Seething and full of pent up disgust at everyone. Me. Me. Me. Do what I want, when I want it! Growl!

Now sit back in your chair and think. You know in your heart of hearts that there is more. Surely, this is not what God had in mind when He created us!

The Christian Walk, not the Christian 100 yard dash!

In the Bible, there is a lot about the Christian walk. A few places it talks about a marathon/race. I don’t see where it talks about a frantic, short dash. Life on Jolt Soda is not what God intended!

There are many verses in the Bible about Trust.

1 Peter 5:7
casting all your care upon Him,[Jesus] for He cares for you.

We can:

Psalm 31:14
But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD;I say, “You are my God.”

Psalm 71:5
For You are my hope, O Lord GOD;You are my trust from my youth.

Psalm 56:11
In God I have put my trust;I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

2 Corinthians 3:4
[ The Spirit, Not the Letter ] And we have such trust through Christ toward God.

Psalm 27:10
When my father and my mother forsake me,Then the LORD will take care of me.

In Matthew 7:11, Jesus says:

11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Take a look at the Dutch Irises that emerged from my flower bed on Saturday. I got to watch them emerge! Jesus says:

27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Matthew 6:27-29

So, God Himself, then pledges to take care of all of our needs.

We can trust Him to take care of us. And yet we do not trust Him, do we?

If we can trust God, then why then do we not get all we want? Why do things happen that we do not approve of? These things make us doubt. What if we are wrong? Can you be educated and believe in Christ?

We will discuss these things as we work to get out of the present tense and into the present rest that God has planned for us. This is an area in which I struggle as do everyone else that I know. No one has the monopoly on stress, although we all seem to think we do!

Our missionaries too, struggle with rest. Mr. and Mrs. “T” our missionaries to the Tuareg are praying for the discipline to rest one day a week. They are stressed out as they work at a frantic pace to reach others for Christ. They need to reconnect with one another and keep their bodies and families strong.

We must learn to rest! How? But the question is not,”How” but “Who.” Who has the rest for us? His name is Wonderful.

Step 1
Your first step to get out of the present tense is to spend fifteen minutes to read your Bible and pray as soon as possible. Drop everything and do it! Get alone, close the door, turn off the phone. Start by asking God to speak to you. Read Matthew Chapter 6 if you don’t have a place marked. This is not a time to plan a sermon, Sunday School lesson, or blog. Just read for what YOU get out of it! End with a prayer.

Lord, guide us as we learn to rest in You. Give us faith and wisdom. Help us to humbly follow You. Forgive us when we don’t think You know what you’re doing. Forgive us when we are stubborn. Help me to follow you better and know you more! Be with Mr and Mrs. T and give them rest. In Jesus name. Amen.

Showing 2 comments
  • Jin
    Reply

    Hi. You left a comment on my blog at the beginning of February. I’m getting back to you (as you can probably tell, I’m a bit behind).

    Thank you so much for the encouraging comment…especially the part about glorifying the Lord through my blog.

  • T A Blankenship
    Reply

    Great article. I do not know how people who can call themselves Christian can go through a day and not spend time with the Lord Jesus.
    For me it is an absolute necessity. It is more important than a good breakfast, or any kind of breakfast, or meal.
    Thanks for the encouragement you are giving to others.

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