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08 November 2007

Dean's Big Day

There were two things that I wanted to talk about this morning and couldn't decide which to cover. As it turns out, Bill Fowler happened to cover one of them rather well in a post yesterday. A key phrase in that post: "The fact is, I saw people going through the motions because I was the one going through the motions. I was seeing what I wanted to see apparently." So I'll move on to the other subject.

This morning I asked God to work through me in every situation, whether big or small.

In one respect, the "big things" in my life are not really that big. Our innate sense of self-importance -- or mine, at least -- usually makes us see our own situations as being remarkably huge. That's natural, since the things we do, by definition, impact us before anyone else. But the world honestly doesn't hang on every move or decision that Dean Lusk makes, as difficult as that may be for me to swallow sometimes.

But in another respect, today is a big day! Every event that has happened to me in life, ever, has prepared me for this particular day. I'm reminded of the Star Trek episode "The Enemy Within," in which Captain Kirk, due to a freak transporter malfunction, was split into two people, one having all his "good" traits and one all his "evil." In the end, his passive nature couldn't survive without his aggressive nature, and vice versa. Thank goodness for Scotty. (I have this nearly uncontrollable urge to spin this off into a touching "Who's your Scotty?" post, but I wouldn't be able to live with myself.)

Now, whether we could survive without having had bad things happen to us is highly debatable. I don't have time to dig into this quite as deeply as I'd like, because there are huge, centuries-old debates about this kind of thing (generically, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" or more specifically, for instance, "How could any good come of a family helplessly watching their little girl be swept away by the sea in a hurricane?"), but I can look back and see that God has, in fact, brought about positive things in my life and in the lives of others in spite of, and even sometimes because of, the stupid, bad, and even painful things that I've done or been a part of.

Lest I forget, He's brought about positive things because of the occasional good, helpful, and not-so-stupid things that I've done in the past, too. It just seems that I don't learn as many life-changing lessons from the good stuff.

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Romans 8:28, NLT)

5 comments:

Leroy said...

You said..."It just seems that I don't learn as many life-changing lessons from the good stuff."

As a child, did we learn a lesson from jumping on the bed? Nope, we learned the lesson when we fell off...

Preston said...

Dean

You said..."It just seems that I don't learn as many life-changing lessons from the good stuff."

I on the other hand learn a great deal from the good things....like my children being born - that God is a beautiful creator, my marriage to my wife, what REAL love and patience really is, a day without sin - to show God's Holy Spirit at work in my life and probably the most important "good thing" is coming to Chirst Jesus as my Lord and Savior - for showing me how much he hated sin and how much he loved me through his atoning death!

I think it is how you look at things, some people want to focus on the tragedies and think this is how God teaches, but as a parent I would hope my children learn not by punishing them, but rather through the love I show them - I think this is how God perfers to tach his children also!

Leroy said...

I agree with Preston ("I think it is how you look at things").

We can choose to learn the easy way or the hard way. Even though we want it easy, it doesn't always happen that way. We should be willing (and trying) to move closer to God through ALL of our circumstances whether they are good, bad, or indifferent.

Dean Lusk said...

Don't think that I'm not heavily thankful for everything that I'm blessed with; I definitely agree with you, Preston!

I find that I'm hard-headed, I guess. While I'm thankful for those things, the lesson that they teach me -- God is extremely gracious -- is for some reason harder to remember than something that causes me great pain.

That make sense? I may just have a warped personality. Of course, this wouldn't be the only thing that showcases it. :)

Tony M said...

I guess we ought to "learn how to learn" - all too often we end up learning the hard-headed way - mess up, get corrected (disciplined), learn to equate negative behaviors with negative consequences. We should learn the other way - equate positive behaviors with positive consequences. Probably we're all capable of learning both ways, but we (or at least I, and I guess Dean, which two of us would make a "we") tend to find it easier to learn the hard way.

Maybe I (we?) should concentrate on trying to learn the easy way (doing good things and seeing good consequences); behavior modification, so to speak.

Hope that makes sense - I'm not going to re-read it to be sure. :)

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