"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King Jr., from Strength to Love (1963)
Maybe you are having one of those days when you face a great challenge or you need to make a tough decision that's sure to result in controversy, and you're not sure you'll get through the whole process unscathed. You feel the knot in your stomach tightening as you wonder whether you're the Apex-Predator at the top of the Food Chain.
I have some news for you.
You are not the Apex-Predator at the top of the Food Chain.
- You're not the Lord of all you see.
- You're not the One upon whom everything depends.
- You're not the King of the Universe.
- You are not GOD.
GOD is GOD; you aren't.
So I encourage you to start your week with two simple questions that'll help you face facts. Ask yourself, "What do I know to be true about me?" And ask yourself, "What do I know to be true about GOD?"
The Truth is your friend.
- When you know the Truth, you're less inclined to pick up burdens you were never meant to bear.
- When you know the Truth, you don't eagerly accept the blame people want you to carry because you're not meeting their addled expectations.
- When you know the Truth, you discover it comes into your life bringing a bit of Wisdom along with it. And Wisdom provides more than facts; Wisdom offers guidance.
Knowing the Truth doesn't guarantee you won't walk into a "bear" of a problem this week. It doesn't guarantee you won't walk into the "teeth" of a Big-Hairy-Audacious-Controversy as you pursue your Big-Hairy-Audacious-Goals. The Truth is - if you're doing anything worthy of your time and effort - you probably will face a "time of challenge" in the days ahead.
Don't be afraid. The Wisdom that comes along with knowing the Truth helps you make good choices. Wisdom counsels against the knuckle-headed foolishness and idiotic behavior that can get you killed for no good reason (and yes, for those of you wondering about this, occasionally there are good reasons to put yourself in a situation that can get you killed). Wisdom doesn't make you the Apex-Predator at the top of the Food Chain but it can keep you from acting like you are when you aren't.
Don't be foolish. Be faithful.
Get Wisdom and take responsibility for your responsibilities.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and HE will guide you. Submit to the Way, the Truth and the Life and the rest of your days will be the best of your days - even if "times of challenge and controversy" lie ahead.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will direct your paths.