Archives for the month of: November, 2012

Every time I speak with a business’ customer service representative or interact with individuals in today’s business arena, I wonder whether or not we are moving closure to or further away from a universally agreed upon standard of integrity.  The conclusion that I have drawn is that the moral fabric of our culture is in far graver danger than most of us could imagine.  The pursuit of the elusive American Dream has transformed our nation into a microwave society with little or no integrity, particularly at the corporate level.  There, the broods of capitalism hide behind their veils of purported ignorance as they levy their Ivy League pedigrees to pillage and rape families and communities.   Intellectually, their level of sophistication supersedes the neanderthral antics of primal man, but the results are the same.  These capitalists claim that their decisions are macroscopic and they do not (or could not) fathom what occurs at the microscopic level (e.g. the individual level).  However, this fallacy has two critical components.  First, one is never completely blinded by a veil.  Imagine a bride walking towards her bridegroom.  Her vision may be distorted by the veil, but she can see well enough to make it towards her destination—the altar.  The modern-day capitalists are seldom shy of their goal—materialism.  The veil does not prevent them from seeing how their agenda impact others.  These vipers are far from ignorant.  Most are purposefully intentional, as is this last statement.  In our society we have equated turning a blind eye to ignorance.  Indeed, they are not the same.  One is a far greater sin.  True ignorance may be justifiable, but apathy is abominable.  That brings me to my second point: the “I just work here” mentality.  Sorry, but that is not a permissible excuse for immorality.  If an individual upholds a system that violates basic moral principles, he too is accountable.  The scales of justice does not waiver simple because we have to fulfill our financial needs and responsibility.  We all have to take accountability for the roles we play in the demise of others.  Acting unjustly to keep a job is not acceptable. 

I think I’m in labor—full term to be exact.  I am beyond the fanciful stage of dancing butterflies.  The girth of my core has expanded beyond capacity, yet it appears that I am not fully dilated.   How much can I stretch before I tear? The sensation in my loins has risen from mild discomfort to sheer excruciation.  Everyone in the room says that I am crowning, but I cannot see past my knees.  All I know is that one way or another, this birth is happening, and it hurts.

The visions that God place in our hearts are planted as a seed.  But as with all of God’s creations, there must be a maturation process.  Likewise, our dreams must be nurtured and developed.  If they are birthed before the appointed time, they will be premature or stillborn.  Both scenarios carry consequences of their own.

For the most part, we should try to enjoy our pregnancy—you too men.  Life is being created and developed inside of us.   We should Enjoy the reshaping of our being as we house this new creation.  The labor is only temporary.  At the end of the process is a new life—one that we have always wanted.  We should enjoy our pregnancy.  The joys of birth will supersede any momentary pain.

As much as we would like to think that our free will grants us carte blanche free reign, it does not. Proverbs 16:29 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (NIV). Proverbs 16:19 further states that, “Many are the plans of a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails,” (NIV). Inherent in both Proverbs is the fundamental principle that God is in control.

So what does it mean when we hear the statement: “God grants the desires of our hearts?” First, we have to define desire. We erroneously think that God’s grandeur disqualifies Him from our self-proclaimed minutia. When it comes to the desires of our heart, we seek God on large scale issues: marriage, children, and career. We seldom seek His counsel on the small desires—chocolate ice cream versus broccoli. I am sure I just lost a lot of you. God must be bigger than soft serve, right? Or, is He?

The more we embrace the fact that God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thought, the easier our lives will be. In the previous example, God sees beyond the chocolate ice cream. He sees us on the molecular/cellular level. He sees our familial/genetic history, which may include diabetes or heart disease. He sees the crystallization of our arteries by the cream. So for Him, our desire for dessert is not just about dessert. He is deeper than that. God is the author of that next level thinking.

God sees the true desires of our heart. He sees the hidden desires that trump our vocalized wants. In the case of the chocolate ice cream, He sees that our long-term desire to remain healthy trumps our momentary desire for pleasure. Our frustrations (e.g. forgotten wallet or delayed traffic) along the path to quell our chocolate craving may just be God intervening and creating an opportunity for us to exercise our free will (i.e. change our minds). Does that mean that we have to seek God’s counsel on every single detail? Probably not! In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think God cares whether we favored chocolate ice cream over vanilla. However, we must realize that the exercise of our free will is never independent of His design.

Enough about chocolate! What about our other desires. I believe that there are two, basic types of desires: desires of the flesh and desires of the spirit. Desires of the spirit are always of God, and therefore good. Desires of the flesh vary between good, bad and relative. If our desire is contrary to the Word, it is not of God, and is therefore bad. Each of us must weigh our desires against the Word and our inner, spiritual gauge in order to determine whether a desire is of/from God.

Let’s take it a step further. What about those nagging desires of the heart that fail to dissipate despite how many times we mute them? You know them—the desire to start a business, write a book or even get married. I believe that God places those desires on our heart. He allows us the opportunity to execute plans to bring our desires to fruition. However, he ordains each step by lighting or dimming our pathways. To believe that God gave us complete autonomy would infer that God has a contingency plan—If A, then B. With that said, I am sure that there are those who may argue that God is sovereign and knows when our chosen path will lead to failure. Although I do believe that God may allow temporary failure for a greater good, I do not believe that He would watch idly as we walk into utter destruction. He is bigger than that. Whatever autonomy we are granted is still within His parameters. I do not believe that our limitation in free will is because God wants to control us like robot. I believe it’s because He know the true desires of our heart—our subliminal desires that trump our expressed wants.