It is called positional truth. Many of us will live our entire lives simply looking at life from our own perspective. This leads to conclusions like; “Look at what I have done,” or “All of this is mine.”
George Bernard Shaw once said, “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” Some of us live our lives in the fear of making a mistake. Life becomes a routine of bland, cautious decisions. Others throw caution to the wind and look back on life as a series of mistakes punctuated by some successes.
The routines of a day or week are like an anesthesia that leaves us numb to the possibilities of today and assuming the dull routine of tomorrow. The assumptions of the Bible are quite different. We are to assume that today God has placed many open doors before you because today is a gift. Do not worry about or assume anything about tomorrow.
The Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle wrote, “A man lives by believing something: not by debating and arguing about many things.” Yet we live in a world where few people seem to believe in anything and arguing is the norm. Passengers argue on airplanes with stewards causing planes to make emergency landings. Parents argue with school referees ending with a brawl on the gym floor. Why so much arguing? James tells us to look more closely at ourselves.
Has anyone hurt you? Has anyone disappointed you? Has anyone spread gossip about you? The answer to all of these questions is “Yes!” What is the natural human response? To fight fire with fire… To get even… “No one will treat me like that!” Is there another way?
Where do you find your identity? I am a mother. I started my own business. I have so much to do. It seems we are all caught up in doing. There are trains to catch, lessons to write, bills to pay, movies to see… on and on it goes. Everyone is huffing and puffing to get somewhere. We are exhausted and overwhelmed. We return from vacation only to say, “I need a break from my vacation.” Where will you find rest?
Eric Clapton wrote, “Time can bring you down…Time can bend your knees…Time can break your heart…Have you begging please… Begging please.” Clapton is talking about life’s experiences and that over time life will wear you out. So we fill our walls with diplomas. Build bigger bank accounts. All in a vain attempt to protect us from life’s hardships. Solomon concluded: “Vanity! Vanity! All is vanity! (Ecclesiastes 1:2). The NIV translates the same verse, “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
In 1931 Reuben Larson and Clarence Jones went to Quito, Ecuador to start a Christian radio station. The experts said the Andes Mountains will interfere with your transmission and Quito is the worst place in the world for a station. Undeterred the station was built and on Christmas Day, 1931 powered by a 200-watt, tabletop transmitter. The antenna used was a simple, single wire antenna strung between two makeshift telephone poles.