Summary: What is our place in this world?
God’s Gift To An Ambitious World
June 1, 2008
Spelling Be story,
This week on National Public Radio, they told the story of the ever-increasing difficulty graduating seniors are having in getting into the college of their choosing.
Despite high grade point averages.
Despite involvement in clubs, athletics, and volunteer organizations.
Despite their high level achievements at nearly every category of measurement.
Graduating High School Students are finding it difficult to get into the college of their choosing.
Though they have excelled ever since Kindergarten.
Though their report cards and trophies and awards speak of high achievements.
Though their parents sighed a big sigh of relief, believing their son or daughter had done just what they’ve needed to do to get into college.
Now more than ever, the letter they hope to open - the letter announcing their child’s acceptance into college - doesn’t come.
And the parents and the senior in high school are devastated. Shattered. Questioning "what did we do wrong?"
Wondering if their dreams,
their desires will be able to be achieved.
We live during a time when the young and old are pushed and prodded
to have great ambition
to do whatever it takes to get into the right school.
to land the right job.
to not be distracted from their goal.
Within many people today is this sense not of ease but of dis-ease,
Not of rest but unrest
Not of contentment but discontentment
Not settledness but unsettledness
Within many today are these cravings
These wants, needs.
Wants and needs for more income.
A better job.
A different house.
A better car.
And the list goes on.
Within us - within you and me - within your children - within your friends lives ___ this dis-ease.
Discontentment with life.
When we hoped that peace and joy could fill our homes - often pride, envy and jealousy reign.
If you sit around long enough at the coffee shop.
If you listen closely enough to what your friends aspire to.
If you quiet yourself and pay attention to your own thirsts
You’ll see this.
You’ll recognize this.
Though we are busier today than ever.
More educated today than ever.
Being paid more today than ever.
Have more choices than ever as a society, we wonder what our place is in this world.
This is what we’ve been exploring together these past 2 Sundays and again this week.
We’ve tried to push aside our busy lives.
We’re trying to lay aside our cultures expectations of us to see what the Bible says about our place in this world.
We, in a sense have said - No - No longer - I believe there is an alternative reality - an unseen truth to who I am.
Rather than allowing my boss.
My parents to label me and slot me into a role
What does God say to me?
What does God think of me?
And so we first saw from Psalm 8 that God is very mindful of us.
That God cares deeply for us - not for what we’ve done or not done.
Not because of what we’ve achieved or not achieved.
David in Psalm 8 when he gets off life’s treadmill of success and ambition and drive and yearning and craving, realizes -wait just one minute. God thinks of me. He’s mindful of me. He cares for me.
He’s crowned me with glory and with honor.
He’s made me ruler/manager/steward over all the works of creation.
He trusts me to be responsible with these.
O Lord our God how majestic is your name in all the earth.
David finds himself.
David discovers this alternative reality - when he sets aside his crown as King, his role as husband and father. When he sits quietly - just he and God - what he realizes is that his place in the world at its foundation is based upon God’s care and mindfulness of him.
Last week, we looked at Psalm 46. The Psalm that names, identifies and proclaims that in the midst of turmoil
In the midst of disaster
God was, is and will be.
Surrounding these chapters of life that each of us must go through is our God. Our refuge - our strength - an ever present help in trouble.
Despite the upheavals in creation
And in war.
The Lord Almighty is with us.
The God of Jacob is our fortress.
This is the alternative truth when chaos seems to reign.
The Psalmist says in effect - though everything else
Quakes Financial Security
And is destroyed Health
"Be still and know that I am God."
So I’ve been thinking a lot about this.