Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Good Things and Bad

Good things:
The family is back together again. Sunday I picked up the girls from my parents.

Saturday I decided to take a bike ride. And, not really paying attention, I found myself much further up the trail than I'd intended. By the time the trip was over, I'd ridden 32 miles. I've found that I rather enjoy bike riding - it's kind of like flying, with not so far to fall if things go wrong. And your legs are sore, instead of your arms.

And Bad:
After more than 15 years in ministry, I can say this: the toughest thing I ever have to deal with is watching people make bad decisions, and knowing there is nothing to be done about it. Now, truthfully, in the interest of Good Boundaries I understand this is the easy one - people make their own decisions, and are responsible for them. I can let them go, knowing it is between them and God. It's not my problem, not my place to interfere.

But the emotional piece is still the hardest. Over the years I've counseled young girls who were dating the "wrong guy," and given all the reasons why it will end in disaster. . .and still they go on, and eventually it always ends in disaster. I've worked with people on fire for the Lord, who decide to get a job that will interfere with their worship attendance, and begged them to reconsider, but still they take the job, and eventually they drift from the church, and drift from the Lord.

Sometimes you sit back, look at the issues on the table, consider the way life works out, and you see disaster looming. Sometimes you can easily predict what will be the ultimate outcome of decisions made, and you do your best to help people make wise choices. . .but their mind is made up and there's nothing you can do but pray. It's as if you knew the Titanic was going to sink, but the crew refused to listen, because, after all, "God himself couldn't sink this ship!"

And so you weep silently for bad choices, and you carry on with the rest.

Last week I had a phone conversation with an individual who wanted a magic bullet for a spiritual issue in their life, but they had no interest in actually conforming their life to the Creator who would give them everything they ever needed. "I don't want to take up my cross and follow Jesus, I want the magic potion that will allow me to get back to my old life without this problem."

And I just couldn't help them see the truth. I guess they didn't want to accept the truth before them. And that, above all, makes me sad.

No comments: