Give money and possessions away and you will remain master over them.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Hazards of the Journey of Faith
Our job requires that we are sometimes assigned freight that is considered 'hazmat' (hazardous materials). The law demands that we go through certain procedures to ensure that the freight is handled in the most secure way in order to protect the public and the environment. One requirement is 'placarding', or labeling the substance contained in our trailer.
I wish temptation came with such clear warnings about the potential dangers of pursuing its appeals. I was reading the story of Samson and Delilah (Judges 16) this morning and was reminded of the deceptive and relentless nature of temptation. The ultimate goal of Delilah's appeals was the destruction of her 'lover'. And she wrapped her invitations with 'love' (v.15) and persistence (v.16). All the while, Samson follows her blindly down a path to his own destruction. Such is the nature of all temptation: the world and the enemy of our souls wraps temptation in glittering tinsel that appeals to our basic desires for security and happiness. Then they constantly bombards us with their 'BS'! "And with such nagging they prod us day after day until we are tired to death" (my paraphrase of v. 16).
Two things are necessary if I am to overcome: constant vigilance and dependence. I must be on my guard against the lies of the enemy and I must depend upon Christ for strength (Ephesians 6:10-12). Only in relying on Christ as my Saviour can I find power to win the battle and only in pursuing Him as my Treasure can I see clearly the 'BS' of temptations.
Thank you Jesus for your salvation, truth, protection to overcome sin and your forgiveness when I yield to its lies and destruction.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Recently we did a two week pilot program of driving team for a dedicated customer. We were shipping grocery and fresh produce from Ajax, ON to Montreal, QC. Navigating through the Montreal area is a challenge to say the least. I found myself constantly being critical of other's driving skills. How easy it is to find fault rather than show compassion.
Karl Menninger wrote with keen insight: "When a trout rising to a fly gets hooked on a line and finds himself unable to swim about freely, he begins with a fight which results in struggles and splashes and sometimes an escape. Often, of course, the situation is too tough for him. In the same way the human being struggles with his environment and with the hooks that catch him. Sometimes he masters his difficulties; sometimes they are too much for him. His struggles are all the world sees and it naturally misunderstands them. It is hard for a free fish to understand what is happening to a hooked one."
God, give me your eyes so that I might see people with your compassion and understanding; ready to respond with forgiveness and grace.
Friday, June 04, 2010
It happened again the other day. I had our day planned out perfectly: pick up freight in Ajax, ON. at 04:30; deliver two stops in Montreal by 12:00; back to Ajax by 18:00; be at my brother's home in Whitby, ON. for a family get-together by 18:30. Well, we didn't get back to Ajax until 00:45 the next day! Our freight wasn't ready for pickup in Ajax until 07:00; when we arrived at our first stop there was six trucks waiting to be unloaded; five hours later we were at our second stop in Montreal; and then we contended with Montreal evening rush hour traffic!
This kind of situation has a special reference for us: DTMBG. This is how it all began. About a year ago, we were assigned back-to-back loads from Cambridge, ON. to Lethbridge, AB. and return to Cambridge. This was a windfall: a potential 4,200 miles! We were rejoicing in our financial blessing. Until we received a message that both loads had been cancelled and we were assigned a relay load from our Aberfoyle, ON. operating center to a small town in Massachusetts: one way 440 miles and no return load. The freight was due for delivery to a construction site at 08:00 on Monday morning. This meant that we would drive eight hours and then wait for 20 hours until our delivery appointment. After delivering the cargo we waited another 12 hours for our next load assignment.
I struggled with the lose of a potential $1,200 pay. I was angry with my employer, the customer and other drivers on the road. Then I began to reflect upon what God might be doing in our situation. I remembered a sermon that I had heard on the Desiring God podcast. John Piper was preaching from the fourth chapter of John's Gospel about Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. He said that God had a "million billion reasons" for that appointment. As sovereign Lord of all times and events, he weaves together all of the situations of every single living creature into a beautiful tapestry that brings glory to Himself. My fault is found in focusing only on the single thread that involves my personal interests. God spoke His gentle rebuke to my heart for loving money more than Him. These disordered values are often only revealed when God graciously withholds them from me. He alone is to be my treasure and joy.
And so, whenever our plans are blocked, we use a special reference to remind us that "our times are in His hands" (Psalm 31:15): DTMBG, "Dispatched to Massachusetts by God." He claims ownership over every creature and circumstance, restoring all things to himself for His glory and our good. Or as Abraham Kuyper puts it, "There is not a square inch in the whole dominion of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry, 'Mine!'"
The photos above are of us parked at the construction site in Westfield, Massachusetts. As I was looking at the photos I realized that we were parked next to a historical building where they used to manufacture horse whips. The parallel to my situation was incredible: God was graciously disciplining me to keep me on track with His values and purposes. "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." (Hebrews 12:4-12).