Monday, May 5, 2014

Automatic

I have come to appreciate that life is not easy. I know that God has created a world that is hard work, challenging, full of temptation, and sometimes painful. I understand that this is how He prepares us for living in heaven. I know that He is concerned with "soul-building." I do not want an easy life. I see how easy it is to be reckless and inattentive when things are going well. Just yesterday, I'd had a wonderful week at a conference and church meetings and preached a challenging sermon at our church about avoiding anger, arrogance, and dishonesty (Titus 1:5-9); then, I confess, to the Body of Christ on the internet, I promptly got into an argument with my wife in which I was angry, arrogant, and loud. What an awakening from complacency! I need difficulty and challenge in my life to keep me alert to the actions of the Enemy.

Much of life, for many of us in Canada, is relatively easy. If we have a decent job, with decent pay, good relationships with people, and a home to keep us warm, life really goes along pretty well; almost automatic. Therein lies the problem. Life can get too easy because
when everything is handed to you
It's only worth as much as the time put in
Those are some of the words to a song, written by Miranda Lambert, Nicolle Galyon & Natalie Hemby, in which they lament the days when things took a little more work. The song suggests that life really was better before so many things became automatic. The song-writers are correct. God wants life to be less than automatic and wants us to put time into our achievements. Here are the rest of the words to the song.
Automatic by Miranda Lambert, Nicolle Galyon & Natalie Hemby 
 (Listen to the song here.)
Quarter in a payphone
Drying laundry on the line
Watching sun tea in the window
Pocket watch, tellin' time
Seems like only yesterday, I'd get a blank cassette
Record the country countdown, 'cause I couldn't buy it yet 
If we drove all the way to Dallas
Just to buy an Easter dress
We'd take along a Rand McNally, stand in line to pay for gas
God knows that shifting gears ain't what it used to be
I learned to drive that 55, just like a queen three on a tree 
Hey what ever happened to waiting your turn
Doing it all by hand, cause when everything is handed to you
It's only worth as much as the time put in
It all just seems so good the way we had it
Back before everything became automatic 
If you had something to say
You'd write it on a piece of paper
Then you put a stamp on it
And they'd get it three days later
Boys would call the girls
And girls would turn them down
Staying married was the only way to work your problems out 
Hey what ever happened to waiting your turn
Doing it all by hand, cause when everything is handed to you
It's only worth as much as the time put in
It all just seems so good the way we had it
Back before everything became automatic
Automatic 
Let's put the windows down
Windows with the crank
Come on let's take a picture
The kind you gotta shake 
Hey what ever happened to waiting your turn
Doing it all by hand, cause when everything is handed to you
It's only worth as much as the time put in
It all just seems so good the way we had it
Back before everything became automatic
So today, I confess my sins before God and before others and commit myself to once again seeking to live a life faithful to the Lord whom I serve. I embrace the difficulties and the hard-work; I am alert to the temptations and easy paths of life; and I rejoice in the life that God has given me. I will seek to put effort into this life and in this way appreciate the good life I have been given.

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