When I was a little girl, my daddy use to sing to me this song as he twirled me around and mimicked playing a piano like Nat King Cole: ‘Straighten up and fly right…straighten up and fly right…straighten up and fly right…cool down poppa don’t you blow your top.” It’s a song about a buzzard taking a monkey for a ride in the air. Now, while in flight, the buzzard tries to throw the monkey off of his back. (Click the picture for more lyrics.)
Wherein lies the premise for this week’s blog.
I know the lyrics of this song is a stretch in comparing just how many people soar through life’s journey mounted on the wrong set of wings, heading in the wrong direction, about to crash and ending up choking on past failures and unrealized illusions. Those of us who are Believers in Christ should seek to know what His plans are for our lives. That way, if we adhere to His plan, we are way ahead of the game, and less likely to go off half cocked.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 4:16
What if you don’t have a clue of what God’s will is for your life. Well, I’m glad you asked.
Allow me to render the following suggestions that are germane, whether you are a Believer or non-believer. These points will help you determine if you are operating on God’s time or your own.
- Regardless of what age you are, reexamine your life’s true accomplishments. Ask yourself if they were true contributors to your success and to the benefit of others.
- Were these contributors of success truly recognized by others and expressed in a complimentary and audible way to you. In other words, did anyone else validate what you believed you saw in yourself.
- Along the way, did you listen to your inner voice that prompted you to explore, exercise more faith, or to seek others advice. Ask yourself; how did I respond. Did I always do it my way?
I intentionally posed those points above because did you know that all of us have dozens of hidden talents and abilities. Hopefully, during some phase of your life you have tried to participate in things you have never before tried. You know that old saying, ‘Try it, you’ll like it’. It doesn’t matter how old you are now, because you should never give up or stop experimenting. Scripture reminds us to always consider our hearts and personality:
“Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry is own load.” Galatians 5:4. 5
God gives each person at least one gift and to others, many gifts. Experts say you should not try to figure out that gift(s) until you have experienced a number of things in life either physically or through studying about it. You may even benefit by taking a personality test. And don’t forget there is a lesson to be learned in your failures. Pastor Rick Warren says people rarely see God’s good purpose when there is pain or failure or embarrassment. But Jesus had this to say to Peter when Jesus washed his feet:
“He (Jesus) came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.'” John 13:6, 7
Finally, we all have a spiritual obligation to live within the plans God has for our individual lives. He will richly reward us if and when we do. This is true because if we don’t abide you will lose the path to God’s understanding of what is that good and perfect work. It’s like running a race or practicing for some event. If you don’t exercise your muscles they weaken and become useless to you. In other words, you either ‘use it or lose it’.
God’s plans are truly an undeserving gift to us which allows us to soar like an eagle…not a buzzard. And God’s eagle will never try to throw us off its back. All we have to do is straighten up, seek Him, trust and rely on His word and operate with a cool head and not blow our top when something so easily besets us. (Get the picture? Now does the song make sense?)
Those persons operating under their own strength will lose it and their reward will be a lie that crumbles and fades. Therefore…
Scripture Lesson: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. I Timothy 2:15
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