Bob was NOT pleased. I don’t remember the exact scenario, something about possible plane tickets I think. I just remember I had made him very, very nervous by my looking into some potential plans without cluing him in, but not because he’s a control-freak. It’s simply that after almost forty years of marriage, he knows:
“You have a way of just making things happen!”
He understands his girl. After we got the air cleared on that one, I now realize that particular trait can be both a blessing…and a challenge. Positivity and realism are actually good teeter-totter buddies, but it goes deeper than that. In fact, this whole idea makes me take another look at something Jesus says:
“Then Jesus told them, ‘I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.’”
Now, “speak to this mountain and it will be cast into the sea” is different than using a bulldozer to plow up the mountain a piece at a time. The latter is a man-made decision, that can often times (many/most/usually if not for the grace and intervention of God) lead to destruction and messy clean up.
Human bulldozer tactics tend to make the one operating the heavy machinery more comfortable in the short term. They make us feel like we’re in control (a lie from the pit of hell, BTW), like we’re “doing something” (which we are, unfortunately). Examples include:
- Manipulation (which has more creative options than Crayola!),
- Bullying (yes, not just my middle school students—adults are quite adept at this)
- Fear mongering
- Pride (“I know the best option already”—my personal favorite.
Jesus’ option, however, takes listening to and learning the will and mind of God, acting on faith, seeing the impossible unfold, thus resulting in eternal purposes being accomplished beyond the mere displacement of dirt and rock.
Granted, He may choose to utilized the hard hat approach, or He might not. The point is that I bring the situation to Him first, and go from there. Then, should He send in a bulldozer, my confidence is in God and His ability, not simply in man (or my bank account, doctor, elected officials, et.al…)
Unfortunately, that’s not always my go-to option. (I’m working on it.)
Thankfully, that whole “if you have faith” caveat in Jesus’ comment? We’re not allowed to opt-out because we are to be:
“…measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”
Which means, like wisdom (and air and water, for that matter), God Himself provides faith. So faith is God’s measuring stick!
Which makes the mountain look smaller…
Matthew 21:21,22 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.