Charles Swindoll says, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” While I’m no statistician, I’m pretty sure he’s right. At least close.
Nearly a year ago, I graduated high school. As I walked across the stage, Proverbs 16:9 was read. “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps” (NLT). And let me tell you, I’m finding this verse to be true.
I had plans. Godly plans. I had just received a big scholarship to a Christian university. I had just given a graduation speech that escalated quickly in the community. I was being recognized on Walk-FM as a “World Changer.” I had a girlfriend who I genuinely felt God had given me. For the most part, life was good.
Thursday was a special day for my family. We welcomed a new member. Not through birth. But through adoption. My amazing aunt and uncle adopted a beautiful nine-year-old girl.
Her name is Chloe. And I’m so happy to be her big cousin. But as I ponder this special day, I can’t help but share a message with you. Because Chloe reminds me of my own adoption.
Chloe left the courthouse with a new name. A new birth certificate. A new identity. Why? Because someone willingly chose her. Not because she did anything spectacular.
And that’s my story.
As an education major, I’m required to observe elementary classrooms. I do it on Tuesdays. The majority of the class consists of boys with Autism. I love it.
Last Tuesday, I stayed for recess. As I sat in the “teacher chair,” I noticed the boys playing iPads together. A number of them sat on a large ABC rug. I decided to sit on the rug with them. Why not? I like Minecraft, too.
A couple of minutes later, one of the teachers said, “We have another student!” It was encouraging to hear.
I enjoyed it. And the boys did, too. We watched Hulu and played games. One of the boys used me as a backrest. Oh well. I reckon that’s what big boys are for. I decided to become one of them for about thirty minutes. Lowering myself to their level, I put myself in their shoes.
That’s what God did.
It’s the word you hear as you stand in a long line. It’s the word you push away while you wait in traffic. What am I talking about? Patience.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience …” (Gal. 5:22 ESV). Yep. There’s the word we’re trying to avoid. But we can’t. Patience is a manifestation of the Spirit’s work in our lives. It’s not an option for the believer. But how? That’s the million-dollar question.
Let’s talk about road rage.
We live in a culture full of comparison. Words like “better” and “more” dominate our vocabulary. Who looks better? Who has more? I think you get the point. And social media doesn’t help.
I’m drawn to a story about comparison in John 21. But first, let me set up the story.
After rising from the dead, Jesus appears to His disciples on a beach. While the disciples fish on a boat, Jesus appears on a shore. But the disciples don’t know it’s Jesus.
The Bible says, “Jesus said to them, ‘Children, do you have any fish?’” (v. 5 ESV).
The disciples have nothing. So Jesus tells them to cast the net on the other side of the boat. As a result, the disciples haul in a load. Well, they try. It’s actually too much of a load to haul in.