In our world there’s always been an imbalance; there’s the rich and the poor, there’s health and ill health, there’s suffering and joy. It’s gotten to a point where most people believe that if they are experiencing one then the other is not far by. Because we are happy and well, at the back of our minds we wait for the other shoe to drop. When it does we think, c’est la vie!
The life’s rat race is therefore to make so much money we have enough to cushion us from what life throws. An insurance policy. We’ve seen the 1% and know how they control the economies of the world. Then we want more. We want to be the 1%, we listen to their success stories and start imagining ours and how spectacular we will be. And money is a great thing, in this world it doesn’t just move mountains, it buys happiness and loyalty, depending on where you’re shopping.
I once listened to someone who made a remarkable argument that unsettled me
he said, ‘we are all destined for something, good or bad, we have a higher purpose, a reason we were put on this earth.’
And I thought, of course we all have a purpose…
‘Hitler had a purpose, to be evil, Judas had a purpose, to betray Jesus, all the people who do bad things are meant to do them as part of a higher purpose’
I’m still thinking, yep! That’s why they are here
‘Then what happens when life hands you a bad card. Where you’re destined not to be the next Mother Teresa, Mohammed Ali, Elon Musk, Jay Z, Mahatma Ghandi or Martin Luther King Jr. What then.’
We all aspire to be something big, something great, something phenomenal but it is true, we won’t all get to the goal that has somehow been forged to us by society of what the measure of success is. It’s easy to answer that question with scripture and at the threat of sounding preachy i’ll go ahead, because it’s Sunday morning, 1:00 am to be precise.
One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Then it’s an open and shut case, we have no choice on where we find ourselves or our destiny because it’s set out.
Why then do we still try every day. If we are to die poor we will die poor, if we are to stay rich then even when we squander our entire fortune it will still find it’s way back to us. If we are to die young we will as part of a higher purpose.
I find this unsettling, I think anyone would. And as human beings we just want to fix it and make it right, it’s not fair people are dying because of COVID-19 it’s the opposite. But if we are curious enough to read through all of Romans 9 then we get our answer, it risn’t about what we do to make us right with God or how self-righteous we are, but by our faith and trust, that believe of things hoped for, the radical idea that as flawed as we are, we are worthy to be beautiful and to be chosen, to be worthy of the gift of life.
As he says in Hosea:
“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people;
and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”[i]
“In the very place where it was said to them,
‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.
It’s only natural to want to be in control of ourselves, our future, our destiny even though it clearly isn’t our play. Maybe this pandemic we’re in is a reminder we’re not always in control. We don’t always call the shots. All we can do is wake up every morning trust, and have faith in the person who put us here to start with and when He chooses us, as He always has, like Gentiles who were unworthy, He will make us whole because of his love.
It isn’t because of what we do, it’s because of our faith, because of who we believe in, that’s what makes life for the living.
I dare you to live.