Have you ever taken a look at a satellite picture? At first glance, it's a mass of color and shapes ... kinda pretty, huh?
Guess what? All those colorful swirls are our dirty countries and frothy seas. Things look so much nicer when you don't get down to the nitty gritty details.
So...let's step back and look at the BIG picture. How do you see your life? I don't mean the nitty gritty: "I don't have time for anything" details. I'm talkin about your life from God's point of view:
There you are: you beautiful creation! I created you to do good things.
Your perspective on your life will influence how you invest your time, spend your money, use your talents and value your relationships.
Don't let the world shape your view of your life. That can be dangerous because our world is SOOOO off track right now. God has something to say about the world:
"Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God." - Romans 12:2
According to Rick Warren, the Bible offers three metaphors that teach us God's view of life:
1. Life is a Test
2. Life is a Trust
3. Life is a Temporary Assignment
1. Life is a Test
I didn't like this heading at first. One glance at those words and I started to sweat -- Who wants to take tests? - Yech! I get clammy just thinkin about it!
Then I read further -- Rick Warren said God watches our response to people, problems, success, conflict, illness, disappointment, even the weather (we've been tested with freezing lately!) .
Hmmm -- I can get into this. Suddenly, all this STUFF that seems to hit me is part of a development process. God's shaping my character! Good stuff!
I'm getting hit in the face and God is saying,
"What are you going to do with this?"
THAT is NEAT! This certainly gives misery meaning. God not only will watch how you react, but He'll help you respond in the right way.
God may be a teacher who gives you tests, but He also gives the ANSWERS!
How cool is that?
So... next time you are hit by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism, and even senseless tragedy, go to God. He has the answers. He wants you to ace the test!
Also - remember - it's not about how you feel. It's about TRUTH. God is there, even when you don't feel Him near.
When you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life. Even the smallest incident has significance for your character development.
Don't sweat the small stuff...but know it's part of your growing up.
Remember the GOOD NEWS:
God keeps His promise, and He will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, He will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out. - 1Corin10:13
2. Life on Earth is a TRUST
This second Biblical concept tells us to be good stewards of what God has given us.
Warren says: At the end of your life on earth you will be evaluated and rewarded according to how well you handled what God entrusted to you. That means everything you do, even simple daily chores, can be done to glorify God.
Kinda makes the mundane magnificent - right?
Here is our verse to remember:
"Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in large ones." - Luke 16:10a
Here are some good questions to consider before we plow through the snow right into Day 6:
What has happened to me that I now realize was a test from God?
What are the greatest matters God has entrusted to me?
Don't forget - Day 6 on 6 -- See you there!