Monthly Archives: May 2013

A Healthy Obsession

My wife suggested that I should write about obsessing.  She even offered that I could use her as an example.  With discretion being the better part of valour, and wisdom telling me that even with permission I’m asking for trouble on that one, I decided to write about obsessing but use myself as the example.

Back when we lived in Saskatchewan, I was elected as school trustee for our division.  Actually, I walked into the local coffee shop at the wrong moment and someone said, “Hey, David will do it.”  During my one and only term we had to take some disciplinary action against the principal from the school in my town.  Due to concerns over liable and defamation suits, I was not permitted to explain to anyone about the reasons for the actions we were taking, and as a result I took a fair bit of criticism from the community even though to this day I know we did the right thing.

I began to have these conversations in my head with my various critics in which I would prove to them the justness of our actions.  Really what was happening was that I was beginning, and continued for some weeks, to obsess over the situation.

Obsessing is another word for worrying or being anxious which, when you break it right down, simply means I’m not trusting God and I want to fix it myself.  This is a very powerful drive within us.  In my situation it got to the point where I was, well, obsessed by it.

The Bible tells us to be anxious or obsess about nothing, but with prayers and pleadings, we are to make our requests known to God (Philippians 4:6).  Even in that our tendency is to simply begin to obsess in prayer.  What he is really getting at is that we need to change our focus.  Instead of obsessing on what we wish to overcome, obsess about Jesus and our relationship with him, and the overcoming will happen.  As long as our focus is on overcoming we will obsess about the issue.  When we obsess on Jesus, the consequence will be that the issue is overcome.

In my situation God led me to develop my relationship with Jesus through interceding on behalf of this principal and her family.  I purposefully asked God to bless this person and bring success to her endeavours.  It worked.  I overcame my obsession.  More accurately, as I began obsessing more on Jesus my other obsession was overcome.


“I Do . . . Do You?”

A number of years ago I had the privilege of officiating at my cousin’s wedding.  Up to that point I had used the phrase, “I’m going to marry so and so,” but it sounded a little too red-neck to say that next weekend I was going to marry my cousin.  So here I proudly tell you that last weekend I had the profound privilege of officiating my oldest son’s wedding.

As you can imagine it was a wonderful day and a beautiful ceremony, and we are way beyond pleased to have Nicole as part of our family.  During most of the ceremony they were all but oblivious of me, completely enraptured as they held hands and had eyes only for each other.  What a joyful celebration of their love for each other.  But it was also a celebration of God’s love for us.

Marriage, in part, is intended to be a picture of the love relationship between Jesus and us.  One author has put it like this: Jesus chooses you, pursues you, and woos you.  One aspect of this is expressed in the last phrase of 1 Thessalonians 2:12, “. . . God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory.”

Did you realize that God has called you, and continues to call you into His kingdom and glory?  We often talk about people making a decision for Jesus, like that old gospel song says, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” To a point that is valid, but we usually put all the emphasis on our decision and completely miss or at best mostly neglect that God initiated this.

Not only did God initiate this, but he continues to initiate relationship.  God continuously calls you into His kingdom and glory.  I’m no language expert, but I believe the way it is phrased is in the present continuous tense.  So in other words this wasn’t some invitation given thousands of years ago and now God is sitting back waiting to see if anybody will show up.  God has called and unceasingly calls to you, to invite you into his kingdom, into his glory, into relationship with him.

But this call to his kingdom and glory doesn’t end when we respond.  To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, God invites, even urges us to go higher and further into his kingdom, and to experience more of his glory.  Do you hear God calling to you?  If not maybe you need to stop and listen.

10 Minutes & A Game Misconduct

Well it’s that time of year again: NHL playoffs.  I’ve been in the tractor so I haven’t watched much but I’ve had lots of hours to listen to a great deal of sports talk radio (ladies  don’t roll your eyes).  Once again this year a recurring topic is the way the rules are enforced differently when the playoffs start.  Personally it drives me nuts, but there are many who insist it is better this way, all the while the league insists there’s no intentional difference.

Now it is not my intent to spark a debate as to whether or not it should happen, but it is indisputable that it does.  Whether it is cross-checking, interference, holding, or hooking during the playoffs the refs give the players a lot more latitude than is given during the regular season.  Whatever your perspective is on whether or not it should happen is really not the point here.  The point simply is that it does happen.

It’s a good thing this doesn’t happen in real life.  Imagine if during rush hour everybody knew that the rules of the road were going to be relaxed.  Consider what would happen if the stock exchange was lenient on insider trading because it was the last hour of trading in the day.   Or if the mall cops let a shoplifter go because he didn’t flagrantly steal.  Society would be in chaos.  Of course some may suggest that’s what happens in the playoffs too, but I digress.

In real life if you break the rules you pay the penalty.  This is true in the spiritual realm as well, and in the spiritual realm the Referee doesn’t miss any calls and we have all been sent to the penalty box.  Ok, I’ll drop the hockey analogy, it’s about to run thin anyway.

When it comes to sin we have all broken the rules.  The good news, the only news with any hope at all, is that Jesus paid our penalty for us.  It’s not a matter of if I do the right things or enough right things then God will let it slide.  The penalty is paid in full.  It is done and now it is offered to you.  The only question is will you accept it?

Here’s a little of what the Bible says about it.

Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rom 10:9-10  If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

1 John 1:8-10   If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.  But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

(Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.)