Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Forty-Day Immersion: Day 7

The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way - never have and never will. 10:4 The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. 10:5 We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. 10:6 Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, The Message

Day 7

Dealing with disappointment – what do you do when you or someone you love doesn't do their best?

How do you handle the disappointment and not allow it to spill over and become discouragement?

I spent my high school years on cruise control: I cruised, and I didn’t let them exert much control. Underachiever. Unmotivated. It wasn’t that I didn’t have people that cared about me; many did. I didn’t care.

It was a very disappointing four years. I got out of high school, but I didn’t get a lot out of high school.

Sometimes I feel so broken inside for someone else’s unused potential and effort – worse than I ever felt when it was me.

We must pray. We must encourage. We must build on whatever successes there are, and we have to be extremely willing to look hard for successes at the beginning of the turnaround. We have to be ready for turnaround 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 – as many as it takes until something clicks on the inside.

Until that thing clicks inside – the faint sounding switch of the lever in the heart shifting from “don’t care” to “care” – nothing really changes. All of the difference is on the outside, and that is just not sustainable. Until you or I or anyone throws the “care switch” – and leaves it thrown - everything stays as it is.

Even when caring begins, the quantifiable results may be a long way off. Be OK with that, for yourself, and for others. Change begins the instant the switch is thrown, but it is deep change, long-lasting but long-developing.

Be patient. Let the person see more love than disappointment. Believe in them; believe the best for them. Never, never, never give up. It will happen to every one of us who really wants it to happen. Achievement – sincere best effort – is available for any age, any level of ability, any background.

Don’t quit. If it's another person, love them. If it's you, allow yourself to be loved. Do not underestimate God's ability - God's passion! for turning lives around. Don't quit!

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