Butterflies may be free….

Posted: August 6, 2011 in Hope
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Butterflies may be free….

But we are stuck with our choices.

It is interesting how choices work! Do you want Chocolate or Strawberry Ice Cream? Would you prefer to walk or ride? Do you want to fly or take the train? Do you want to obey the rules, or disregard them? Which rules do you want in your life? Rules are a lot like a fence around your yard. Yes, they keep pets and children confined, but they also keep strangers and animals out.
It is interesting how it works. We like our orderly lives and yet we long for a sense of freedom and wild abandon. We find our responsibilities confining. They prevent us from doing some of the things we want to do. Shall we go to work today or should we go fishing? Shopping? Golfing?
Isn’t it strange that without the one we oftentimes cannot have the other? If we don’t go to work, we can’t afford to go fishing, Shopping or Golfing.

The choices we make so often affect the quality of our lives. The choices we make determine our future and sometimes the future of others. The choices we make can set us free or they confine us. It is difficult to know what to do and when to do it unless we have a set of rules we live by. Each of us makes choices daily to do what is right or what is wrong, what is legal and what is illegal, what is honorable or what is dishonorable.

It would seem that our community is suffering from an influx of people who are making wrong choices. Those who have chosen to risk their freedom and their lives by doing something that brings them excitement, money, and things that don’t belong to them. They may have chosen to find a way of dealing with life by using illegal drugs or alcohol in excess, so that the end result is slavery to something they cannot afford to pay for, because they either don’t have a job, or have no ability to work because they have found they can have those things by taking it from someone else.

What is the basic problem here? Why is it that they have made choices so contrary to their own self-interest and actually believe that it is the best way?

Life calls us to make judgments about what is right and what is wrong. We can have a set of rules that we live by or not. Everyone has that set of rules. Things that are OK and those that are not. Even our Prisons are full of people who have made choices that have put them there, but even they will not tolerate other crimes. Murder might be OK but Child rape is not. Isn’t it interesting that crimes that are committed are justified in the eyes of the doer. Thieves say….well they have insurance, so it doesn’t hurt them if I take it.

It may be that the problem is in “thinking” and in NOT “thinking”. There is always a path or a trail, and if you follow it far enough you get to the end. When we don’t consider what the results of a path are, we sometimes find ourselves at the end and we don’t like the end, but had we thought it through we would have seen the end before we made the decision to take that path or go that way.

We have our “fences” for most everything…our rules. We have a problem so we make a new rule. In ND we now have a rule that we can’t text and drive at the same time. Some will follow the rule and others won’t. Rules are created because of something that has gone wrong, and we don’t want it to happen again. Getting to the root of things we find that God’s 10 commandments already has that covered. True…the 10 commandments do not include “thou shall not text and drive” However they do include caring for others as Jesus said “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and your strength, and YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF” Loving your neighbor includes don’t text and drive because you could hurt or kill someone…”thou shalt not kill” is in there. These are the paths that if we “think” and follow them to the end, before we begin, we choose not to embark on. We as a Christian Nation, should be using those 10 commandments as our operating system. They cover every aspect of our lives and IF we follow them, we can’t go wrong…everything else is just “fluff”. It is the path without an end we don’t want.

This is a trying time in Minot. We have homeless people all over. Homes have been destroyed by a flood that could have been prevented. Some homes still have flood water and sewage in them, and even though there are many people helping one another, it seems endless in getting the work done, the homes stripped of all their fixtures and walls and floors, and furnace, water heaters, cabinets, doors and windows. Some will never be used again, and others will be left abandoned, and still others will be rebuilt. The flood has not only taken homes, but it has taken jobs, and income, it has stolen security, and comfort and dreams, as well as childhood from so many. Schools are destroyed, or relocated, families are in temporary homes, or with friends, family or in campers and tents and homeless shelters.

Through it all we also have anger and bitterness, and fear. We have many needs and we have doomsayers, and those who are feeling hopeless. We are hearing angry words directed at others. We see selfishness starting to rise up in some of us who may have lost everything we owned, or most of it and in those who want to get around town without waiting in traffic jams at every stoplight, or stop signs where lights are no longer working. We have City and County workers who are bone-tired, and need rest, but there is none. We have people working to get out the mess in their homes, and not knowing what is to come of their home. Will they be able to rebuild? Will they ever live there again? Will someone show up to help at some point? Will the water ever get out of the basement?

We North Dakotans are an independent bunch. Those who have been challenged by the flood are working day and night to clean up and clean out. We are learning to lean upon others for help…..something some of us have never done. We are learning to trust God to take care of us, because we are no longer able to care for ourselves. We don’t know if we will be working again, or whether we will be moving to a new community or staying here. What we can KNOW is that the Bible says, “My God shall supply all of your NEED, according to riches in glory by Christ Jesus” We can KNOW that God is there for us, when we call out to him. We can know that whatever comes to us, we can trust him. He is our fence that keeps us safe! He is the symbol of flying free. We can, like the Butterfly, choose to rise up on the wind and fly free, or remain in the shadows, and not ever see the beauty that is available if we look. The choice is always ours. Circumstances can change our world, but they cannot take our honor, our character and our hope….unless we choose the path into the darkness.

Forge ahead with courage, and strength and hope. Don’t let the grayness of empty flooded homes and yards put your heart and mind in distress. It takes work to remain positive when everything around you says there is NO HOPE! That is a lie, don’t believe it! Hell is filled with evil and Minot has been experiencing hell on earth. Evil abounds but when it does, the Bible says that “Grace abounds more”. Grace is that undeserved favor from God. It is the Physical, Spiritual and Emotional avenue that takes us from the darkness into the light. It is the source of power and might, and the source of peace and hope. One day at a time….that is all we have to remember….just today! Tomorrow will take care of itself.

This is the time for us to develop a relationship with Jesus himself! We must become Christ-Followers in every sense of the word. We have to turn complaining into praise because of His Grace. We have to talk to ourselves and force our thoughts to turn to the promises God has given his Children. We have to remain positive, and trusting. We have to remain in His care, trusting him to provide All that we need…today, tomorrow and forever!

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