Posted by: Jim E | June 25, 2011

To All Who Slog…Murphy’s Romance…And Shalom…

You know, I really wish everything about life was good news…and I think most of it is good…but if I were to chose a word to best describe all of life, it would be: slogging…that may sound a bit cynical but its really not…the best and most simple meaning I can find for slogging is: “To plod (one’s way) perseveringly, especially against difficulty.”…so as you can see slogging is here to stay, hand in hand with life itself…and as long as we have life, we will slog…so life is not easy, it is hard, but it is good…hard vs. easy…good vs. bad…that’s life…

One of our favorite movies that watch once in a while is Murphy’s Romance, a romantic comedyand there are a couple of lines in the movie that I love…they take place between Emma (Sally Field) and her ex-husband, who is totally irresponsible…she tells him, after showing himself still more irresponsible…”This time, pick up the tab.” and “sell your motorcycle” and “sign a lease on a house” and “put money in a college fund”…he says, “Nobody’s perfect.” and “I haven’t had enough good times yet.”…and “Oh, Emma, does everyone have to put their head down and slog?”…and she answers, “Most people do, yes.”…

That my friends, is slogging…and it describes life in a nutshell…everyone faces it one way or another…but, we will all slog through life…“To plod (one’s way) perseveringly, especially against difficulty.”…now, it would seem to some of you that if God is in your life and you are trusting Him, that you should not have to slog…but if you feel that way, you are, Oh so young!!!..

I remember when Judie and I were young…I don’t know if we were even married yet…but we met a couple from Iowa, he had lived on a farm…he came to Minneapolis to get his education to go into the ministry but had come down with a illness that prevented him from continuing…he told us this story to illustrate his situation: “A farmer was in his field plowing…he was interested in serving the Lord…and as he was plowing, he looked unto the sky and saw the letters GP in the clouds…’Go Preach’, he read…he left the farm and went to seminary…only to find out that the GP really meant was ‘Go Plow'”…

This young couple were battling (slogging) through the thought that they had made a mistake (back on the farm) that would ruin everything God had for them…but God blessed them anyway…and as I learned then and as it has been reiterated many times in my life…God in His love overcomes decisions we make…else one mistake would make us irretrievably lost down the wrong road…

The other day I read an answer to the question of how this person’s faith helped him navigate in life: “Once, faced with choosing between two jobs, I agonized over making a decision that might be wrong for me and my family. After days of prayer, fasting and seeking direction, I realized that God, in His abundance, was offering me not a right and wrong, but two goods, and that He would bless either.”

But what about doubts???…he went on to say, “Only people with doubts need faith. I allow doubts their say, but I do not allow them to define my faith. I neither suppress nor indulge them. Doubt and uncertainty are part of almost everything valuable in life, from investments to friendship to love. Why not in our relationship with God?”

So what is this all about???…God is a God of abundance…though we make what we see as mistakes (in our slogging)…though we doubt…though we wish we didn’t have to slog…yet in all the slogging…the God of abundance is there for us…extending to us freely, shalom…it is rooted in His Character…“Wholeness, security, health, prosperity and righteousness…that is God’s intention for all creation and the purpose why we exist…this shalom is always falling apart…and our job is to always be repairing and extending it”…Mark 9:24 “Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief.”…wherever we are we need to be that influence, that presence of God, spoken and unspoken…in our neighborhoods, at work, at play…wherever…

So as we slog, let’s look for the hand of our abundant God…that no matter what life dishes out…no matter the doubts, those doubts don’t define our faith, nor our life…we need to realize that our relationship to Him is more important than anything…because life is hard but our God is good…for us He wants: wholeness, security, health, prosperity and righteousness…aah, now that is slogging!!!…

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