April 8, 2011 - Under New Management
Rev. Ken Bushey
Before it was a clock and a camera and a calendar, it was just a phone. My carrier says it’s time to “upgrade” my phone—which, ironically, usually means I’ll be offered more technology to help me talk less. And maybe I will upgrade. I admit that the thought of downloading email and apps, syncing my calendar and surfing the web causes me to want to believe that I could finally get a handle on managing the craziness of life. But maybe that’s wishful thinking.
I am incapable of managing my life. Go ahead and say it. It might be helpful for your ears to hear your mouth admit the truth. God is waiting to hear your confession, too.
In each of the four stories in today’s psalm, we have this common refrain at the point of unmanageable crisis: “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.” Those in crisis waited until they had nearly collapsed under the heaviness of the circumstances before they considered calling on the one who was not small or weak or mortal or sinful to help them. All the time, God was patiently waiting for permission to intervene; waiting for humanity to recognize how small we are and how big he is; waiting for us to willingly step down from our assumed managerial position to let the loving, all powerful, all knowing, ever present, holy and eternal Lord of the universe speak the word of calm into our chaos.
What in life has become unmanageable for you? Don’t let the crisis build. Talk to God.
Martin Luther understood that his life was unmanageable, but he knew the One who could manage it. “Work, work, from early till late. In fact I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” He chose a mighty good upgrade option.
Resist the temptation to rush into the next hours managing your life alone. Allow God to manage your day. Put down the phone. Turn off the computer. Close the day-timer. This Lenten season try the old fashioned approach: Talk to God.
Lord, forgive me for my moments of arrogance when I’ve attempted to manage life without you. Enable your servant to know your wisdom and presence as I endeavor to be led by you today. Amen.
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