Stand Still

Stand stillWe sometimes wonder: how can God allow the world’s atrocities to occur? Why the suffering, killing, torture, and fear? I don’t have an answer, but I do offer a reflection.

Viktor Frankl was a WWII concentration camp survivor, psychiatrist, and writer. Early in Frankl’s book, Man’s Search For Meaning, he makes an astonishing statement. Frankl says that ALL the good people died in the camps. Every last one.

Here’s the reflection: The greatest evil is conquered by an even greater good.

So I imagine the scenario. The camp prison guard is approaching my group. I know that if I don’t move, I will be taken and executed. If I move, maybe even just a little bit, another person will be taken instead. What do I do?

Can I stand still?

For how much less do I move out of the line of fire in my life? How often do I flee to protect my ego and insecurity? Is this the life I want to save?

Father, give me the strength to hold my ground as did your Son. Let me lose my life. In obedience to you.

“He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39)

Image source (modified).

Mentality of a Messiah 5

Mentality of a Messiah 5

Please hurry…

When driving in Buenos Aires whoever is carrying more speed into an intersection generally has the right of way. If your vehicle is really big (or old, like mine) then you also can enjoy right of way status. I’ve seen power passing into the oncoming traffic lane countless times. Sometimes, if you don’t run the red light, you might get rear ended by someone on your bumper expecting this kind of behavior.

Once in a while though, you get behind a really slow driver. How does this make me react? I’m usually in a hurry, so I get restless. I am temped to honk or pass or at least fume impatiently.

But what if I was following my boss in the car ahead of me? Or what if it was my mother? Or a king? How would may attitude be then? I would be respectful and humble of course.

That’s how Jesus works. He’s always behind us, waiting on us. Respectfully. Humbly. He treats us like kings.

Follow the true King. Let him show you the most excellent way.

Are you God’s rag?

Are you God's rag?

When you need to clean up a spill, what do you reach for? You grab a rag. You don’t clean up a mess with a gold ring. There are times when only a rag will do — to clean up an oil spill, broken eggs, or even a puppy’s accident.

How many times do I want to be a brilliant diamond trying to do the job of a scrap of cloth?

A rag does what it’s user asks of it, no matter what the task.  And when the job is done, the rag gets tossed into a corner, out of sight, and idle until its master has need of it again.

Can I be the Lord’s dirty rag? Can I respond willingly? Can I stay put?

Isaiah 64 says that all our righteous acts are but filthy rags. Our best efforts compared to God are nothing. But when his strong hand picks me up, I am useful.

To clean, restore, luster… or even bandage a wound.

Let me be your hand rag Lord. Use me as you will.

And when the time comes you will cleanse me and ring out all the dampness.

By your hand, I will be white as snow again.

Image source (image altered by Vincent Chough).

Mentality of a Messiah 4

Argentina inflationLike everything else here, inflation has always been a drama in Argentina. From 1975-1991 the average annual inflation rate was 300% – yes, three hundred. Today, the economy is still playing currency and inflation games, but the stakes are not as high.

The government forces supermarkets to control the prices of some products. Basic staples such as pasta, milk, and meat are “protected” from inflation. Even wine falls under this list. So what happens? You go to buy the cheap stuff, and many times the stock is very low or the shelf is empty. The store puts up a sign corresponding to the cheap macaroni noodles, but not a single package can be found. Maybe it’s just a ruse to keep the inspectors off the back of the store manager.

When your budget is tight, you look for deals. The other day I went to buy some noodles, and there were only five packs under the reduced price. I wanted to take all five since we have a lot of mouths to feed at home.

What would the Messiah do?

Take just one or two? Nope.

He would leave all five packs of pasta for someone else whose economy is even tighter.

Jesus always leaves the best for us.

He gives us the best deal ever.

That’s his economy.

Image by Eneas De Troya. Image cropped by Vince Chough.