Through the Wilderness
We trek and we wander, but do we ever know what we are looking for, what we are hoping for? The life of a broken man the pains the suffering are only a part of the trials. A man of dignity will slow down and in times of trouble ask God for direction. A man will be calm in the storm, cool in the fire, strong when others are weak. A true man will be a leader when times call for it. The never-ending supply of love and guidance from God will always get the faithful through the toughest of situations.
In a lot of early tribes a boy was placed in the wilderness and tested to survive. This test of bravery, intuition, resourcefulness, and a will to survive is what they determined a man. Today, we no longer have these rights of passage. A boy turns 18 and poof, he’s a man. No test of bravery, of skills, just an age. Sadly today, we call a man, a man, but often, they don’t act like a man, but a boy instead.
Today a male will lay with a female and when she gets pregnant the boy will leaver her high and dry. Being able to make a child does not make you a man, taking care of your responsibilities, being a father to your child, that’s what makes you a man.
Sometimes bad things happen, and sometimes people make bad choices. Even when there is a difference of opinion, or a falling out, how you move forward how you behave in the day-to-day decisions will tell the world the type of people you are. I asked a friend yesterday in fact, “In our life, how often does someone view us as the villain in our story?” I find that to be an interesting conundrum. A matter of opinion, perspective can change how someone is viewed. I am of firm belief that when the majority sides with you you’re probably doing it right. What do we do when we are tested, when we are baited to stoop to someone’s level, how will we manage the temptation. It’s easy to let selfishness, greed, wants and self gratification take over and drive you from decision to decision.
I never imagined seeing the downward spiral so closely in my life. The evil deeds of someone can easily come about anytime. It’s a hard balance to know the monster from within can surface at any time. It’s so important to maintain a sense of dignity and Christian moral values in times of stress and distress. Proverbs 6:12-16 “A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing. There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him:” God does not approve of evil or wicked actions. Ecclesiastes 12:14 “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”
Some day you and all will have to answer for your sins. Each and every thought, every action, will be accounted for at the Day of Judgment. When you are standing before God and you realize you’ve done wrong that is too late. You must repent prior to death. Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out,” No one is free from knowing their sins and doing the sinful nature anyway. “17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” Time on earth is finite. We never know how long we have, but if we wait till our dying breath, saying you’re sorry isn’t the same as repenting. Repenting is actually changing behavior. One of my best friends and my Pastor put it this way, “Anyone can say they are sorry and mean it to a degree. Repentance is an action in which you take steps specifically to right the wrong that was committed to the best of your ability. I can say I’m sorry I broke your Arrow Funko Pop. Repentance is replacing it with a new one plus Slade, and specifically not breaking something else of yours again.” (Rev. Glen Newsome, Jr.) How many times have you or someone you know apologized and went right on doing the same behavior they just said they were sorry for? In time that ‘sorry’ no longer means as much as it once had.
Sadly, as we find our way through the wilderness of life we must learn to grow into manhood, womanhood, but also grow in our faith and live our lives as good faithful Christians. No matter the hurt someone places on you, forgiveness is not optional. It doesn’t matter if there is an apology or repentance. Forgiveness is something we are told we must do and do with all our hearts. Never forget that.