Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? How good are you at giving God the things you’ve calculated will add up to a successful day? Are you sure that the sum of events at the end of each day will add up to the outcome you planned on?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I go to the bank every Friday. Some weeks deposits are easy since there are only a few checks or transactions to deal with. However, there are weeks when that isn’t the case and a great deal of calculating needs to be done. I’m in the habit of using deposit slips; manually filling them out by hand, totalling everything and handing the sometimes large stack of cash and checks to the bank clerk along with my hand-calculated deposit slip. I tend to be proud of my ability to cipher without the aid of a calculator. Nonetheless, I’m not always accurate ciphering this way. As a matter of course the clerk will then use her calculator to recheck my addition. It’s not unusual for my calculations to be off, hopefully always in my favor. Had I committed the process to her in the first place, I would have saved time and achieved the best outcome for the account. Nonetheless, for some reason I always think I can do it accurately without committing it first to the clerk.
How good are you at giving God the things you’ve calculated will add up to a successful day? Unfortunately, when we think that God only cares about the broader picture of our lives, the sum of events at the end of each day may not add to the outcome we planned on?
Here’s a story. A young man approached the foreman of a logging crew asking for a job. “That depends,” replied the foreman. “Let’s see you fell this tree.”The young man stepped forward and skillfully felled a great tree. Impressed, the foreman exclaimed, “Start Monday!” Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday rolled by, and Thursday afternoon the foreman approached the young man and said, “You can pick up your paycheck on the way out today.” Startled, he replied, “I thought you paid on Friday.” “Normally we do,” answered the foreman, “but we’re letting you go today because you’ve fallen behind. Our daily felling charts show that you’ve dropped from first place on Monday to last on Wednesday.” “But I’m a hard worker,” the young man objected. “I arrive first, leave last, and even have worked through my coffee breaks!” The foreman, sensing the boy’s integrity, thought for a minute and then asked, “Have you been sharpening your ax?” The young man replied, “I’ve been working too hard to take the time.” K. Hughes, Liberating Ministry From The Success Syndrome, Tyndale.
In Psalm 37:5 the Psalmist declares––“Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him and he will do this.” That young man had a plan, a way he wanted to go. He’d arrive early, stay late, work through lunch, and try to work harder than anyone else. His fatal error was that everything he had planned to do in order to achieve the outcome he wanted was of little help because he failed to do the one thing that gave meaning to each step of his plan: sharpening his ax. Like him we are similarly guilty when we calculate a plan for living and assume that God will provide the outcome we planned for without his involvement in the details. We’re often good at bringing the broad scope, the vision, of our lives to God without thinking to commit the underlying calculations, the day-to-day mission of living, to God as well. The secret to a life well-lived is a life well-calculated in the presence of God; as he’s done the math already and his calculations are flawless.
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We pray. Thank you Lord for caring about the details of our lives as well as the broad scope of where we are headed and how we will get there. The pathway may be strewn with challenges, but we know that the strategy for staying on course is perfected when we include you every step of the way. Forgive us when we selfishly keep the details of how we plan to walk that path to ourselves, and help us to trust your planning before our own. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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