Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Parable of a Parody - "Try" (Part 1)

We all have passions we burn for. Maybe it’s a goal or a risk we envision taking, such as talking to someone outside our comfort zone or taking a stand for what is right. Maybe it’s praying early in the morning and starting the day on the best possible note.

The thing is, every time we find these flammable points, we run the risk of being burned. Maybe it's failing. Maybe it's losing friends or popularity. Maybe it's losing comfort or sleep.

But so often, those things that run the biggest fire risk also provide the greatest opportunity for return. And sometimes the biggest burns create the most fruitful environment.

Take a forest fire. The fire might be devastating, but the nutrients that come from it make the most fertile soil around.

Truth is: fear is never a good reason not to move forward. Even if you fall, fail, mess up or lose something in the process, it doesn't mean the end is imminent. But if you fail to start, you are done before you ever took a step.

Sometimes, we try and we are wrong. Maybe we want to go back and do something over. Maybe we wish we never made the choice that birthed the mistake. But if we tossed aside every failing, we would never get stronger.
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We've heard it said many times: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

But what's more important? The "getting back up again" or how the "getting back up again" happens?
Sometimes, we can pride ourselves with the "fall down 7, get back up 8" paradigm to the point we don’t realize our idea of change may need changing. Truth is when we face the crossroads of life, we need to seek God first and foremost before we try something that has repeatedly failed. And perhaps it’s not so much we’re trying the right thing the wrong way, but we’re trying the right thing at the wrong time and the issue lies in how our hearts relates to what God wants to accomplish in and through us. Regardless, it can be easy to come to God after we've forced our initiative first. But just because we realize we need God, doesn’t mean we pat ourselves on the back and stop there.

Furthermore, it's important to note man's definition of "try" always yields to God's mandate of "do". In other words, whether we are trying to do the right thing or actively engaged in doing the right thing, God’s call to do the ‘right thing’ is always greater. If we think about Star Wars, we can find some spiritual truth in the character of Yoda, who coined the popular cinematic phrase: "Do or do not. There is no try."



"Try" is a word that reflects man's imperfection and weakness. Think of “try” as an escalator designed to take you the next level of “do”. And on the next level are many stores vying for your attention, seeking to manipulate the direction you take. Now, there's no shaming in trying, as it implies effort, but "do" takes it a step further because it implies we're applying the right direction to the effort. Does God not want our 'yes' to be 'yes' and our 'no' be 'no' (Matthew 5:34, James 5:12)? Given this charge is referenced more than once, I think 'yes'. We should aim for perfection and put ourselves in position for God to be strong whether or not we happen to be.

And perhaps this is the reason why "getting back up" is only the beginning. We shouldn't put ourselves in bad situations, experience the fall-out, and think we're being strong or self-sufficient by picking ourselves back up again. Why? Because only God has the ability to pick us back up AND place us where we need to be. Maybe you can stand on your feet, but can you really take credit for anything past that?

The direction we walk in after the "get up" reflects the burn within. Within the heart of everyone is a flame. No matter who we are or what we're doing, we're burning for someone or something.

All our mind's attention, all our hearts affection, every heart-cry, every rhyme, everybody's worshipping something. All our life's devotion has been set in motion; religions dozen for a dime, everybody's worshipping something. ‘Cause that's what we were made to do.” ~ John Waller, Jason Hoard, Scott Johnson, Matt Adkins

It’s not rocket science: we're constantly seeking fulfillment from all kinds of outlets and sources. So let's be honest: does "trying" to anchor our satisfaction in Jesus feel more like doing cartwheels on a balance beam? Does it feel like walking a tight-rope across the Grand Canyon? Or does it feel more like a pleasant beach run on a warm, sunny day?

Do you ever wonder what holy fire is and perhaps why you don't seem to have a lot of it? Is it even right to say we don't have the fire or is it better to say it's burning across many containers, when it's only supposed to burn in one (our relationship with Christ).

One thing is for sure: when we take the easy way out by trying to get by, we're withdrawing a portion of our flame from our walk with the Lord and depositing it into a mindset that perpetuates a "me-first", "cart-before-the-horse" attitude. Ironically, we set ourselves to burn in the wrong way and thus, our concept of "fire" becomes even more skewed.


Power Up: Why do you think "trying to get by" doesn't capture the heart of the Spirit-filled Christian? Why do you think God made us passionate creatures? What are some ways to help us remember to reference God at all times, not just when we really need Him?




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Ever wonder about what he's doing
How it all turned to lies
Sometimes I think that it's better
to never ask why

Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone's bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn't mean you're gonna die
You gotta get up and try and try and try
You gotta get up and try and try and try
You gotta get up and try and try and try






Funny how the heart can be deceiving
More than just a couple times
Why do we fall in love so easy
Even when it's not right

Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone's bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn't mean you're gonna die
You gotta get up and try and try and try
You gotta get up and try and try and try
You gotta get up and try and try and try



Ever worried that it might be ruined
And does it make you wanna cry?
When you're out there doing what you're doing
Are you just getting by?
Tell me are you just getting by by by

Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone's bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn't mean you're gonna die
You gotta get up and try try try
You gotta get up and try and try and try (x8)



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