“Not that I speak from want for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”
Phil 4:11 (NIV)
Don’t you ever feel like you’ve bought something or worked for something that just didn’t pan out the way you thought it would? I recall buying an expensive camera after saving for so many months and felt great when I finally walked out of the store with it. But my old camera took better pictures than the new one!
It seems that we always want more. More than we have. More than we could have. And even more than we should have. There always seem to be this drive to bring more into our lives, most of which, is hardly even used to its fullest. There is always something new and different around the corner.
The apostle Paul had learned to tame his desires and wants, focusing instead on God’s well for him. The most important aspect of his life was sharing Christ and the love of God with all people, no matter who they were — Jews, Gentiles, fellow prisoners, guards, Greeks, friends and strangers.
And throughout, God provided and cared for him right until the end.
Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing?
“Or if on joyful wing, cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upwards I fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.” Christian hymn.
His name was Wallace and he was a musician. It had taken him awhile to find the right girl for him and he was in love! It was such a joyful feeling to have a good woman in his life. Maria Robinson really meant a lot to him. They had discussed the future and decided that they would get married after his current job was finished.
Wallace Hartley worked for a company that contracted musicians and bands. He was signed onto a White Star ship, voyaging from England to New York City. His fellow band members were quite excited and they all looked forward to the trip on board a brand new ship, the Titanic. During the panic and trauma on deck as the big ship sank, Wallace led his small band in an impromptu piece of music, playing his favorite hymn: Nearer My God to Thee.
It is said that the music helped calm some people down. It gave solace to those who were denied a seat in a lifeboat. It touched hearts and minds in turmoil.
Wallace Hartley did not survive. He played until the end.
We’re all playing our life’s hymn right now. And will play it until we’re called home.
“If you smoke three packs of cigarettes a day, you really don’t need to wear a seatbelt!” Anon friend, Ron.
Jackie smoked a lot. Not quite a chain smoker but close to it. He always complained about health problems and the lack of sleep. His insurance company finally curtailed his medical policy, which angered Jackie to no end. He said it was unfair that the company raked in his money for years but cut off his benefits when his health failed.
When he lungs started deteriorating, Jackie turned to God. He visited several faith healers but nothing worked. His best friend, Ron, refused to sympathize and told Jackie that it was his own fault! You have no room to complain, Jackie, said Ron, you’ve been sucking these things for over forty years and now you must pay for it!
It is the same in life. We must take responsibility for how we live, the choices we make and how our faith is actioned. It does no good to claim to be a follower of Christ, then sit on the sidelines while life goes on. We wear a name — Christian — and we all have a function to fulfill.
And that function lasts a lifetime!