Now Is The Hour To Change Your Present Direction
“Wrong way Sam, that is what we called the hired hand,” Ed told me yesterday. My old neighbor from Saskatchewan was complaining that things are going the wrong way in the province and the country. When he was a boy, they had a hired hand for the summer who was a champion of getting mixed up and making the simplest tasks a sure-fire, misfire. Ed spoke with no mercy for political leaders at any level, and he would say goodbye to every one of them as sure-fire, misfires if he had his way. The problem he admits is that when one says goodbye, another says hello.
I argued with Ed that changing political leaders may not mean that things will go in the right direction. Most folks admit that a change of direction is needed right now for others but not themselves. On a personal level, it is seldom the right time to change our ways.
Esau, in the Old Testament, had a grievance against his brother Jacob, because Jacob had stolen Esau’s rightful inheritance from their father. Esau wanted to kill Jacob but didn’t as he was waiting until after their father died. Putting things off, while waiting for a better time worked against Esau, as Jacob ran away so Esau could not kill him. A change of residence was a life saving action for Jacob to take and he took it without delay.
When I talked with Ed yesterday, it was his time to complain about politicians. Complaining about leaders happens everywhere. At school some students complain about their teachers, some teachers complain about their principal, some principals complain about their school superintendents, some parents complain about all or any of them. Complaining is being dissatisfied with or impatient with another person and saying so.
God’s chosen people were impressive complainers. Although God lead them out of slavery in Egypt toward the Promised Land, they complained against God and Moses. God provided food or manna six days a week for his people, but they protested saying it was worthless or miserable food.
It is our sinful human nature both to complain and to boast. Boasting reflects our pride and self-satisfaction about ourselves and our abilities. Professional wrestlers never tire of bragging about their strength, and never hesitate to bad-mouth or trash talk about their opponent’s ability. Religious folks may seem to boast of having all the answers when it comes to God. Jesus did not boast when he was here on earth, but his disciple Peter did. Peter on the night Jesus was betrayed was quick to say that he would lay down his life for Jesus. Jesus set him straight in that instead of dying with or for Jesus he would deny Jesus three times before dawn.
Sin smolders and flames up in the best and the worst of us. Sin would destroy us like a relentless fire except that Jesus came as God’s firefighter with grace. Like water that puts out a fire, grace is an undeserved gift from God that smothers our sins before God.” The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God, not a result of works.”