Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Shutting Down

Regret for things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. ~ Sidney J. Harris

"In fierce storms," said an old seaman, "we must do one thing; there is only one way: we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there." You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may -- winds, waves, cross-seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers -- no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm, and hold fast your confidence in God's faithfulness . . ." ~ April 1, Streams in the desert

The ship was about to break into pieces. The sailors were terrified. They called out in desperation to their gods . . . Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down into the hold of the ship . . . He was sound asleep. The captain came to him and said, "What's this? Sleeping! Get up! Pray to your god! Maybe your god will see we're in trouble and rescue us." Jonah 1:4-7

Choices can lead us into troubled water, and in an instant we are in danger of being dashed on the rocks of life. Everyone -- at one time or another -- will trim the sails at the wrong time and end up in a boiling storm. At some point all of us find ourself in a storm so fierce that only faith can keep our ship from breaking apart. Show me a person that never made a bad choice or decision, and I will show you a person who never made a choice or decision -- they are a ship without a sail!

In the middle of our roughest seas we can make one of the most noble decisions -- and choose to irreversibly commit to turning the bow into the storm and drop anchor and lash ourself to the mast and hold on for dear life. Our feeble navigation systems and self-reliance and stubborn determination are incapable of delivering -- they must be shut down. A single option is left -- fix our position on Jesus, Star of the Morning.

This depth of faithful resolve is not easy to define, let alone put into a succinct explanation, but I am speaking of that moment when we roll the sanctified dice -- its double or nothing. If we will . . . the dice are loaded in our favor -- regret for what did do is forever taken away -- regret for what we did not do is never an issue!

Only one person that ever lived could look back over the entire course of his life and never feel a twinge of regret for his actions or remorse for action he never took -- we know that one person is Jesus. Although we will never live up to the impeccable standard of Jesus -- meaning we will never escape our sojourn with no regrets. We can avoid the heaviness of inconsolable remorse for what we did not do.

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