Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Nick's Chaplain Blog - "Reality"

Here is another excerpt from the Simmons chaplain blog, written by Nick. 

Click here to read his past posts:
"Attitude of Gratitude"
"Little Things"
"Really...Kansas?!"

August 13, 2012 ~"Reality"
CHAPLAIN NICK BRASCHLER

When you discover that the horse you are riding is dead, 
the best strategy is to dismount.”
~ Dakota tribal saying
My family had a show in Branson for many years called the Braschler Music Show. My grandparents still live in the area, and I went up there a few weeks ago to spend the day with them. My grandpa was telling me some stories about different people that would come to the show and just how funny and quirky some people were. He started into a story that just left me shocked and a little disturbed.
Apparently, one night after a show, he and an entertainer friend, Boxcar Willie, met up at a restaurant after their shows had finished up and were sharing stories from the week before. As the story goes, just after intermission of Boxcar’s show, a man sitting on the front row had a heart attack and had slumped over in his seat. They immediately stopped the show and called the ambulance. They arrived and he had already passed away. Instead of the wife getting up and taking the necessary care of her deceased husband, she was adamant that they had driven 15 hours to be there and they were going to finish the show. She sat her husband back up in the chair and told Boxcar to carry on…
Now to me, this is all kinds of absurd! I mean, really? You know, there are times in life when you need to stop what you are doing and take care of something right that minute…and this is certainly one of those times…I’d say it’s in the Top 3 (flat tires and unruly ear hair also make this list).
I started wondering if this applied to everyday life. What is something in our lives that we would rather just continue on like nothing happened, when immediate action is needed? My mind went to the reality of sin in our lives. We often act as though it’s not there and carry on as though it affects no one else. You may have said before, “Okay, I realize I should probably not do this anymore…but TOMORROW, I swear, I am going to stop ____________. Yeah, I’ll just take care of it tomorrow.” And yet, we carry on as though there are no consequences.  
Just like this woman most certainly ruined the rest of that show for those sitting around them by her decision to not take care of her husband, our sins also affect others as well – whether we know it or not. This is one of the greatest lies that we buy into about sin – that I’m the only one who is affected by it.
The fact is, the best time to spring into action when we are convicted of sin in our lives…is with the very next breath. Don’t put it off until tomorrow, or the next convenient time. You are not guaranteed either. You have right now though. Deal with it. God is merciful and full of grace. I am so thankful that even while He knows our faults and He sees what is done in secret, yet His love covers them all. It is through this great love and mercy, that we are able to overcome sin in our lives and begin living in ways that bring honor and glory to God.     
Reflection:
If your heart is heavy with the regret of poor choices of your past, and you feel like life is going nowhere - maybe you are riding a dead horse. No amount of kicking, pampering or feeding will change the fact that this horse isn’t going to get you anywhere. It is time to dismount. Know that it won’t be easy, and challenging days may very well be ahead. But the blessings of a life which is lived for God far surpass them all. 
“The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” 
~ Psalm 103:8-12 (NLT)



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