Posts Tagged ‘anchor

01
Mar
23

Busted Truster

Who do you trust?

Stop for a minute and really mull that question over.

Because trust is the glue that holds our world together. 

For example, I trust that the funny-looking green piece of paper in my wallet can be exchanged for food, gasoline, grass seed, or a movie ticket. I trust that the driver there to my left will apply his brakes when his traffic light turns from green to yellow to red. I trust that the water coming out of my tap is clean and germ-free. I trust that the people flying the plane I just boarded are thoroughly trained and capable of getting me safely from Denver to Kansas City…

… or wherever.

And most of the time, I trust the integrity of the people around me. Sure, there is the occasional scoundrel who takes advantage of my trust. And when I meet that rare scoundrel, I reprimand myself, make note of the lessons to be learned, and move ahead… trusting people once again.

Leaders fall into a slightly different category, trustwise. Skepticism is the toll to be paid for the privilege of standing in front of others, pointing toward the horizon, and beckoning them to follow you. Followership is built on trust and that trust must be earned. 

Trust is a funny thing. Most often it is built on past experience. “It happened that way yesterday, so it will probably happen that way again today.” When trust is extended, however, it is always in reference to something in the FUTURE. Trust is the thing helps us make the next right decision or take the next right step.

As you can see, trust has been on my mind a lot lately. One reason is because trust seems to be a commodity that is in increasingly short supply these days. We are blessed (cursed?) to find ourselves living in “interesting” times… times that leave us scrambling to find precedents for the events and experiences we’re encountering.

Institutions keep letting us down. Whether it is the political institutions, the economic, the educational, or the cultural institutions… including the institutional church. Trust in their ability to protect and guide us is at an all-time low.

Leaders keep letting us down. I am not sure this point needs much additional elaboration, but just as a little thought experiment, stop a moment and complete this sentence: “The leader I really trust today is: ___________________.”  

Is it any wonder that record numbers of people are succumbing to the “diseases of despair” as they are called: drug addiction and suicide? 

Is it any wonder that many of us are drawn magnetically to endless, mind-numbing forms of entertainment? We seem to reach out desperately for anything that will help us avoid thinking too long or too deeply about the state of the world around us.

I know what my answer – as a self-described man of faith – is supposed to be right now. I know that I am called to invite you to trust God. To lean on God’s eternal promises. To point out God’s spotless history of redeeming and rescuing everyone who has leaned on God for help. I am called to quote AT LEAST Joshua 1:5 to you, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you,” followed perhaps by a quick shot of Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

And yes, I believe everything I wrote in that last paragraph – with my whole heart. I trust God and God’s promises. I have seen the reliability of them in my own life, in the lives of others, as well as in the witness of history and scripture. 

My struggle today is how to effectively encourage others toward that same trust. When people struggle to put their trust in what they HAVE seen, how will they decide to trust a God they CAN’T see? Even though we live in an age of skepticism, I believe most people desperately want to find a reliable, trustworthy anchor to tie their lifeboat to. They want to believe there is a foundation that stands firm when everything around it is shaking, cracking, and crumbling. I firmly believe there resides in every human heart a hunger to connect with a Source that loves them, will always be there for them, and will always speak truth to them.

 Sadly, for a lot of people, their “truster” has been damaged one time too many and they aren’t going to risk trusting anyone (or anything) ever again. 

To even the most downhearted, untrusting, cynical ones among us I want to say, “Trust God completely.” Grip the words of Psalm 30:5 tightly with both hands and remind yourself; “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

Abundant blessings;

07
Apr
18

James? or David?

James TaylorWhat do you do when your world is out of whack?

This morning I woke up with a nasty head cold. It feels like someone snuck in during the night and stuffed my head full of cotton while I was sleeping. My thinking was so hazy I struggled to tie my shoes correctly.

PLUS… while the calendar says it is April, the weather outside clearly reads “January.” A 19-degree air temperature and frozen puddles outside greet the eye.

To add to the overall disorientation, my wife (a.k.a. confidante, companion, sounding board, lover, friend, anchor, muse, support, reality check) is 1,200 miles away enjoying some sun and sand with her daughter.

My energy is utterly sapped… and it is only 10:00 a.m.

HELP! All of my touchstones have deserted me.

I need a toehold! I need a solid piece of ground to hold onto and get my bearings.

I am sure you remember a time in your life that felt like this. Or worse.

I’m sure each of us has felt ourselves spinning a little out of control now and then.

Where do you turn when your altimeter is whirling like a top and your compass is in the middle of an epileptic seizure?

James Taylor is one option. “When you’re down… and troubled… and you need a helping hand. And nothing, whoa nothing is going right. Just close your eyes and think of me, and soon I will be there… to brighten up even your darkest nights.”

So I tried it! I closed my eyes… thought about and visualized sweet baby James… and waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

I’m still waiting for James to make good on his promise.

Today I thank God for the mentors in my life that introduced me to ANOTHER resource… that taught me how to connect with the reliable, unchanging, solid Word of God in all circumstances.

King DavidSomehow the 18thpsalm of David seems like the right place to turn. After a long, long period of being harassed by King Saul, David finally defeated his adversary. And in the moments following his victory, David knew instantly where to turn and give the credit: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2, NRSV).

No doubt if God can deliver David from an entire army of enemies, he can surely deliver me from a head cold, freezing weather, and from missing my sweetheart.

Ahh! That’s better.

Sorry, James.




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