Summary: 2 of 4 in the series "Inside~Out: Developing the Heart of God" More sermons by Charles Sackett at http://www.madisonparksermons.com Audio also available at http://www.madisonparksermons.com
2 of 4 in the series "Inside~Out: Developing the Heart of God" More sermons by Charles Sackett at http://www.madisonparksermons.com Audio also available at http://www.madisonparksermons.com
Yesterday started out one of those days when I wondered if it was not better to have just simply stayed in bed. It was hot. It was humid. It was still dark. I was probably five or six minutes down the street in my early morning run when a pit bull came after me. He was tied to a bench in the yard, so I felt reasonably safe until the bench started coming with him. Fortunately, even as an old guy I can outrun a dog pulling a bench.
It wasn’t too long after that that a car decided it wanted my side of the street, so I decided I wanted the curb. And then to top it all off, somebody took the other side of the street, which was very kind of them, but then they stopped in the middle of the road, rolled down the window, and said, "You ought to be wearing reflectors." Well, they were probably correct. I wouldn’t have denied that. It’s just it seemed like an odd place to stop and say it.
You probably have those days when you just weren’t so sure that you should have got out of bed. Life doesn’t seem to be going quite the way we wanted it. Sometimes life is just sort of messy. That can be literal as well as otherwise. Some of you parents have been in those positions where life got literally messy.
Jonah certainly was. He found himself in the depths of the sea, he found himself surrounded by seaweed, and then he found himself inside the belly of a fish. I don’t know what that’s like, but I don’t want to find out. And then he got vomited up. Just that phraseology alone is enough to make you think that his life was messy. He ended up on the beach, but not way you would want to get there.
You undoubtedly have this those experiences in your life when you find yourself asking, "Why is this happening? Why me? I didn’t do anything to deserve this." You might have found yourself thinking, well, no, actually I did do something to deserve this, but I would rather not go through it.
It seems like there are two sources for those kinds of trouble. There are those things that happen that we have no control over. We really didn’t do anything to deserve it. It’s just the fact that we live in a messy world. Not much you can do about the fact that this is a broken universe and bad things happen. People get sick. Other things happen. Accidents happen. Things occur. It is what life is. It isn’t intended to be described as fair. It’s just life. It’s what goes and what comes with the territory.
But then there are those other issues. They are the ones that we have brought upon ourselves, the choices that we have made that have led to messy situations. I know that you have never done that kind of thing, and none of your relatives ever said to you what my relatives said to me on more than one occasion. "You made your bed. Now lie in it."
Or the one that was probably the most troublesome happened when I was, I’m guessing, 10 or 11 years old. My cousin was over, which in and of itself was trouble. That combination was never good. And there happened to be some neighbor kids, girls out playing, and that just made matters worse for two - or 11-year old guys. The next thing you know we had probably done something really stupid. I don’t even remember now what it was about, but whatever it was, we had gotten in trouble with this little group of girls, and they had come after us.
Now, I don’t know why we ran in the first place. I mean, after all, it was a bunch of girls. But we did. We ran to my cousin’s aunt’s trailer, and we jumped in to hide. We were peeking out through the venetian blinds, and what we discovered after a little while was they had recruited help. There were now a whole bunch of girls, and some of them were big, old, like 12 and 13. And I thought for sure we were safe because we were in his aunt’s trailer, a haven, when she said, "You are going to have to face the music." I was looking for the back door, didn’t have one, and there was one way out, and that was right through that pile of girls.
I don’t recall to this day what happened, but I do remember the lesson learned. Sometimes you just got to take your medicine. You got to go with it.