AHEAD, KEEPING UP, BEHIND

Whew! We live in a fast paced world.

Some are out there ahead ….leading. Some of us are just trying to keep up . And then, others of us are just behind . Sound familiar?

People ahead losing the race

It’s said that there are individuals who were “born to lead”. Are you a leader? How is it going? Is it everything most people think it is or are the words of a former leader of a lame duck session of Congress appropriate when he said, “it’s not all it’s qwacked up to be”?

In our current world, and in spite of all the technological advances which are supposed to make life easier and save us time, does just “keeping up” seems to be harder and harder?

Do you sometimes feel like no matter what you do you will never “catch up”. In the words of the curious cow upon first seeing one of those automatic milking devices and asking the dairy farmer, “what does that thing do?”, the farmer answered, “it suckes”. I hate the word but in today’s world, it may be the most appropriate word for always feeling like you are behind and will never catch up.

Ask most any successful leader and they will tell you that while leadership has its perks, it can sometimes be a lonely business. Some will also tell you that regardless of how near or far they are from the success they crave, they have come to realize that even if they reach it, they are not sure if they will be able to look back and say that it was worth the cost. It is like the guy who made it to the top rung on the ladder only to discover it is against the wrong building.

Ask anyone who feels like they are “just keeping up”. Proudly they will tell you they are but that their main concern is just how long they can continue doing it. The stress is almost unbearable.

Ask anyone who has been behind for so many years, they have almost given up on “keeping up” let alone on “getting ahead”, They look down the road and don’t like what they see.

You say, “why in the world am I reading this? This is depressing!

Of course it is, especially If you are in one of the above categories. (Who among us is not in at least one of them?) But hang on just a bit. There is more. There is some good news.

King David had some really dark times….times he was unsure of his life, his friends, his children, even himself. But still, he gave us the following words of encouragement:

“Yes, there may be sorrow in the night, but there will be joy in the morning for You, God, have turned my mourning into dancing, you have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness”. (Psalm 30)

One of the truths I have come to understand from all the years I have ministered in the prisons, one that has blessed me beyond my ability to express is that God did not create you and me to live in a prison…..of any kind. Be it the prison of being a lonely leader, a stressed-out person just trying to keep up or a poor schmuck who feels locked in a life situation from which he sees no escape.

When John the Baptist asked Jesus’ disciples if Jesus was indeed the true Messiah, Jesus told them to go and tell John the following:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, and He has anointed Me to proclaim liberty to the captives And to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” (Luke, Chapter 4)

In His Word, I believe God has made it clear that He did not create us to be:

1) lonely leaders,

2) creatures who are stressed out trying to keep up, nor

3) poor schmucks who have given up trying to be 1’s or 2’s.

After over 4,000 years of watching His children try to do it on their own.

He realized there was no way we could live the lives He created us to live ON OUR OWN, ALL BY OURSELVES.

In the Old Testament book of Joshua, Chapter 1, verse 9, we have these words:

“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for I am the Lord your God and I will be with you wherever you go.”

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 28, verse 20, Jesus said:

“I’ll be with you always, even to the end of the world.”

In the book of Hebrews, Chapter 13, the writer reminds us with the following words:

“For Jesus Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: the Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

In the Gospel of John, we have these words of Jesus:

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, the Spirit of Truth, and He will abide with you forever. He will dwell in you and will be with you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

Bottom line, be of good cheer, no matter where you are, AHEAD, TRYING TO KEEP UP, OR BEHIND, YOU (WE) ARE NOT ALONE. Christ is HERE, NOW, AMONG US, to help us live the life we were created to live. If we will just let HIm.

OH! REALLY? Hmm….WOW!