If it’s broke, don’t fix it?

Last week at Celebrate Recovery, one of the guys said something which was interesting, alarming and funny, all at the one time, but I think “alarming” is the right description.

For the sake of confidentiality, I shall call him Dave, but his real name is Steve. No it’s not, that was a joke – his real name is Charlie. No it’s not!

We are getting to the stage in the programme where we start making a moral inventory. We look at the things in our lives that have had a major impact on us: things that we have done, things that have been done to us. They are the stuff that have built our hurts, hang-ups and habits. As we deal with them one at a time, we reduce the influence they have or have had in our lives. As we reduce their influence, we reduce their impact on us and their control over us.

Heartbreak Hotel

We all have times of heartache in our lives. If we haven’t, then it’s one of those “not yet” things – sooner or later, heartache will probably come.
It’s part of life, part of growing up. We get emotionally attached to someone, then it all goes wrong. Everything falls apart, our lives crumble into sadness, and we find ourselves, as Elvis Presley sang, in Heartbreak Hotel.
It hurts, deep inside it hurts. “That’s it – no more relationships! I’m not going through that again! Never again! I’m finished with love!” (I can’t remember what age I was when it happened to me, but I’m glad that I changed my mind about being finished with love!)

Stormy whether

Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm. (Matt 8:23-26, NLT)
I am very aware of the fact that the Bible is a living word that speaks into the situation that you find yourself in. So often I read a passage and it means something different or something more than it ever did before.
Sometimes, though, I think this is often the case because I don’t think deeply enough about it – I just scan read, just as I have always skimmed the passage in the past, and I miss something, or put something in that was never there. This passage in Matthew is one such story.

Does a Pharisee see far?

The Pharisees get a roasting in the New Testament. They first pop up in Matthew 3 and John the Baptist lays into them immediately.
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? (Matt 3:7, NLT)
He doesn’t see their fine robes or their importance – he just sees a brood of snakes. From there on it doesn’t get any better for them. They just don’t seem to be able to see what is happening in front of them. Many people see the miracles of Christ; they only see the works of Satan. Many see a Saviour; they see a threat to peace.

A present for the present

The Lord has gifted Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other skilled craftsmen with wisdom and ability to perform any task involved in building the sanctuary. Let them construct and furnish the Tabernacle, just as the Lord has commanded. (Ex 36:1, NLT)
It’s always great to watch an artist at work. With just a few lines, a blank page can be brought to life, a story can reveal itself. But it isn’t just artists that can amaze – I am stunned at how quickly a carpet fitter can transform a great sheet of stiff carpet into a perfect fit for a room; or how an author can grab our attention with that book you just can’t put down; or how a surgeon can mend a broken face. There are so many skills out there, so many abilities.