Monday, February 16, 2009

Those Controlling Rules

I've been thinking about this a lot the past few months. Rules are everywhere and no one is immune from them. Even the rule-breaking, rebellious, rough-around-the-edges people still have to follow some rules eventually. Now, sure we bend some of these rules. I can hear the captain from Pirates of the Caribbean saying, "they're more like guidelines..." I wonder why we all follow rules? Why do we listen to our parents when we're young? Why do we obey the police? Why do some of us submit to Christ? Other than the fear of belt whippings, being shot, and lightning bolts (joking), it's interesting to think about.

I was driving through a traffic light the other day and thought about how good it is to see the green light--to know that I have permission to go through. I also get really anxious at each light hoping I don't see the dreaded yellow and red. But why don't we just keep driving through? Why don't children, in a Hollywood-movie style, raise up against their parents and never take a command again seriously? Why don't we tell God that we're right and He's wrong and keep doing what we want? I think it's because God has more control of this world than we think. We talked about this a little bit in Bible college. There's this instinctual influence coming from somewhere that makes us all know the basic difference between right and wrong. Sure, our parents help fine tune that, but even those who didn't have parents or had really lenient parents know deep down what is right and wrong.

God is in control. He is the source of influence. He always is. We can take Him out of the schools, government, and even churches, but He'll still have control. Have you felt this? We can deny it, try to run from it, even downright hate it, but God is still in control. Are you submitting? We follow the rules because deep down we all have a love and desire for our Father in Heaven. He has invested in us from the beginning. I, for one, am completely glad. How about you?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Character of the Storm

I have always been interested in weather. I would watch the weathermen on TV with jealousy. I would watch "Twister" and kind of think I could do that. I even spent a semester in college pursuing a major in Meteorology. However, due to experiences as a child, I am not a fan of severe thunderstorms. Since it is winter, I figured now would be a good time to talk about summer thunderstorms. One of the incredible things you discover in the first studies of Meteorology is that there is a lot of stuff that goes into the weather. Lots of data, patterns, maps, observations, and predictions. And so I find myself thinking of these thunderstorms. The thing that amazes me is that a storm can hit multiple states in just one day. Even further, these storms often take on the same character in these multiple states. Grant it, some factors change, some areas get different storms, but a big system can cause similar storms in such a large area. Maybe this isn't a big deal to you, but it amazes me.

The character of the storm is all about consistency and velocity. A storm that has great character will last for a long time and show intensity and zeal. There will be large spread results of this storm and people will talk about it for awhile, always remembering its splendor. The character of the storm can certainly be dangerous when precautions aren't taken; but if safety is possible, all you do is sit back and watch in awe.

I feel like God personifies Himself in the character of a storm. Even the insurance companies will agree with that (aka, the "Act of God" justification for non-coverage). I do not agree that God uses these severe storms to act out Himself, but I see His character in them. God is all about consistency and velocity. God is never-ending and always shows intensity and zeal for His people. The results of God's character are world-renown and people have been talking about His splendor for thousands and thousands of years. When we aren't taking precautions to please God, His justice and judgement will certainly prevail, but God is good and saves those who cry out to Him. And when the Almighty saves, we are in awe of His mercy and grace.

Are we, as children of God, taking on the character of the storm, so that the strength and velocity of the storm will continue? Will you be the one who hinders the continuation of the storm? Will you be the one who's watching in awe, only hoping you can offer just something to the character of this storm? I know we all have the potential to do something great in this world. Will you follow the momentum of God's movement, or will you go against it? I can guarantee you that it feels much better to jump into the forward movement and find beauty in the character of the storm.