Luke 6:39-49 (click to display NIV text)
March 10, 2013: Fourth Sunday in Lent
Pastor Dwight A. Nelson
“As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.”
Many years ago I was the coach of my son’s soccer team, when he was 7 years old. During the week we would work on having the players spread out over the field and have them practice passing the ball side to side. On Saturday mornings they would play a game, and all the players from both teams would cluster around the ball as it moved around the field. The pressure of opposition changed everything they had learned to do.
This week has been the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska. In the first half of the race several of the mushers used unconventional strategy to try to get an edge on the competition. Martin Buser sprinted from the start, then took his mandatory 24 hour layover much earlier in the race than usual. Meanwhile, Lance Mackey drove hard to the halfway point, hoping to be first to that point and win a $7,000 prize, and then he took his 24-hour rest, which was much later than most of the teams. But this year the temperatures have been very warm, and with the warm temperatures came strong winds. So, in the face of wind, the strategies did not mean as much. Now it is down to who has the strongest dogs, rather than who has the best strategy. Buser held the lead all day Saturday, breaking trail in the soft snow and facing the strong wind. But it wore him out, and now he is fading out of contention. The opposition of the warm wind changed everything.
Our lives are lived under pressure, under opposition. Under the pressure of various types of storms and the resistance of competition we find that we need a teacher, one who can see what we cannot see, one who can guide us. Our strategies tend to fall apart when we face opposition. Under stress, we act like we are blind. Read more