Open Your Eyes!

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This morning A moment of panic set in, as I searched for a place to eat breakfast.   Why you ask?  There are so many places to eat!  But First Met has entered a fast!  No Bread! No Fried Foods! And no Beverage outside of Water!  Mentally, I was scrolling through menu after menu!  What can I eat?  Where can I go?

Panic set in!  I couldn’t think of a place to eat.  Then I saw a grocer.  Fruit! Quick!  Simple! Delicious! Cost efficient!  I walked in and discovered lot of choices in addition to my desire.  I entered the section and found heaven in a cup.  Parfait. 

It was then I found truth and a key to surviving the fast and to thriving in life.  Often we are so consumed with what we can’t have that we can’t think of what we can have.  

Are you so focused on what you can’t have that you can’t see what you can have? 

Do we fail because our minds become consumed with boundaries and rules?  Do we miss opportunities focused on the things because we are focused on things that are not within our grasps? 

Truth be told, this is why most fasts fail.  Our minds become laser focused on the no,’s and overlook the yeses. For a moment, a problem existed.  Not a real problem, but one created from my inability to see past what was restricted from intake, so much so that I was blind to the many options around me.

Once I took a moment, I was able to see not only a store, but 3 other options.  Not only that, but the real blindness was created by a fear for a lack of discipline.  Every place had something on the menu that I could eat, but I feared that I would not be disciplined or strong enough to be obedient if given the opportunity to break the fast.  The reality, there were many options by which I could dine, but not many in which I might be successful, that is being undisciplined in this area.

I made my purchase and was in my car within almost the same time frame it would have taken to drive through the drive through.  I broke the seal and mixed together the items and dug in.  While eating, I realized that we are so bound by what we don’t or can’t have that we miss out on things that can bring us joy.  

Are you so blinded by what you can’t have that you can’t appreciate what you do have? 

The Parfait was delicious!  I enjoyed the bitter texture of the yogurt, the sweetness of the strawberry and the crunching through the granola.  I enjoyed spoonful after spoonful. I could only thing that I would have missed this bliss consumed with what I had to miss.  When we place our mental energy on what we can’t have, we rob from ourselves the joy of what’s available to us.   

I screamed to myself!  Johnny, Open Your Eyes!  I say to you, Open Your Eyes!  See what God has provided. Open your mind to what’s available. Discipline yourself for the journey! 

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A Hard Head, Makes…. Zechariah 7:13

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Momma used to say, “A hard head makes a soft behind” to us as youth.  During these times, we were learning many lessons, some which we rejected, others we struggled to follow.  Our youthfulness and desire to experience and carve our own paths often caused us to but heads with the very covering given to keep us on the right path.  image

We find God, in this passage, exhausted from His efforts to keep His children on the right path!  He has sent prophet after prophet to speak to the people about their ways.  Turns out, they were following the ritual dates, fasting when instructed, but they were ignoring the voice of God when He spoke.

God was more concerned for their treatment of others than He was their obedience to the calendar.  When they had His attention, He is instructed them to “exercise true judgement and show brotherhood and compassion to each other.  You must not oppress the widow, The orphan, the foreigner, or the poor, nor should anyone secretly ploy evil against his fellow human being.” Zech 7:9-10  His words highlight what was taking place before and during the fast!

While we are focused on building our relationship with God, we must also be builders of relationship with mankind.  It’s great that God says “fellow human being” because this is how He sees us and how we should see one another.  This means all races, economic backgrounds, party affiliations, cities and the like.  God wants us to illustrate His character towards His creation, not because it is deserved, but because it is right.

And of we choose not too!  A hard head makes our God chastise.  He chastises the ones He loves, making us obey His Word that it might go well with us.   God said to them, “I cried to you….so you will cry out” V. 13 “they would not obey….I will not listen.” V. 13  in other words, a hard head does make a soft behind!

Like our parents, there comes a time when the Words font correct, that they just have to express.  God made two entry points for knowledge, and shamefully, we absorbe most of it from below the waist.  God desires to teach us the conventional way, but we continue to rebel, eating from every tree and following every path.

Lord forbid that He would stop up His ears towards us when we cry out for Him!  Be it not that the Lord would ignore us while we suffer!  God remember us and hear our cry.  Actually, don’t just hear it, listen to it! Let our cry compell you to act! Let not only our words and deeds line up to grim favor from you, let our treatment of others be a sweet smell in your nostrils!

#PastorJDO3