The problem with many is they are more focused on staying clean than they are in getting dirty in order to give that salvation and grace something to work with. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
“Buck up. Things could be worse you know” I head that often growing up. It seems like this is one of those stock encouragements that every Dad passes on from his Dad to his kids. I can almost see my Grandfather Leo telling my Dad to buck up and move on, just as his Dad, Leonard, told him. The idiom has been around longer than these Brunner Dads, probably going back into the 18th century. Buck means to bolster or push up. It’s an appropriate term when a negative attitude has taken over our lives. For the most part I ignored the suggestion whenever my Dad made it clear that bucking up was my only alternative, as I assume my son has as well. We tend to do that with idioms. However, this idiom probably needs a bit of rethinking on our part.
Here’s a story. Arnold Palmer, the golfing great who passed away last year, was known not only for his tremendous golf game but for something a little more subtle as well, his wry smile. When other golfers were intense and tight lipped as they lined up a difficult putt, he was known for his graceful grip on the putter and his trademark smile that would dominate his putt preparation and follow it as he invariably plucked the ball from the hole. So, what was behind that smile? It had everything to do with a plaque that was prominently displayed on his office wall. The words on the plaque read: “If you think you are beaten, you are. If you think you dare not, you don't. If you’d like to win but think you can’t––It’s almost certain you won't. Life’s battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man, but sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.” Palmer’s world revolved around golf but included far more than just playing the game. Palmer has had a diverse golf-related business career, including owning several golf courses, founding The Golf Channel, and operating Palmer Course Design, which was one of world’s foremost golf course design firms. His life took many turns professionally as well as corporately, and bucking up, smiling when the ball wasn’t going in the hole the way he had planned, was an essential part of his coping character. (Source unknown)
Many things in life can and do get us down; some of them are pretty serious and, at the moment, provide an almost insurmountable presence. I remember such a moment not long ago. Being between a rock and a hard place would have seemed like a blessing. I really was trapped in a situation without any control on my part to change it. Unless something positive happened, something so far beyond my capabilities, all might be lost. That’s when the imperative came down from above. “Buck up my son. Have you forgotten that the impossible is my specialty. In fact, it is my delight.” It was at that moment, the moment of bucking up, that I received a fresh shot of grace. Like an Adrenalin hit my spirit surged and the weight of the moment was lifted. Nothing was changed other than my attitude. God required of me one thing in order to work his grace, he wanted me to reach out, to buck up. I did and he acted. My ball wasn’t going into the hole that day without divine intervention. I overcame and God reacted. It may have been an idiom with my Dad, but with God it was a promise. A simple thing; and you know, with God most things really are.
We pray. Heavenly Father, your grace is awesome. Yet how often we neglect to plug into it because we simply don’t recognize the opportunities you give us to reach out and ask. Thank you Lord for the spiritual ability to buck up when things are really insurmountable in our lives. Forgive us Lord when we decide to wallow in our helplessness when all the time your helping hand was there, just waiting for us to reach out. How amazing Lord that you so often react immediately when we call out. You are truly an awesome God. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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