Friday, June 15, 2007

Life Lessons in Faith: Muses from London

This morning at 6am, as I caught a cab from my hotel in London to the train in Stansted, it occurred to me that traveling abroad can be an interesting mirror of a walking a life of faith.

In both cases, the rules change.

Driving on the wrong side of the road is, of course, all subjective. What works well in your native land, is "backwards" when you are abroad.

So it is, that a life of faith is perceived to be "backwards". Matthew 20:16 says "the last shall be first and the first shall be last", which in the natural makes no sense whatsoever. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul recounts God's words "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" and later in verse 10 says "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." Talk about not making sense and appearing backwards to the world!

Matthew 5, known as the Beatitudes, says it best:

3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

If you are "driving" down the road of your life and you hit severe bumps in the road and shaken, you encounter someone "driving" on the other side of the road that is not only unshaken, but peaceful after encountering the same bumps, it could just be that they have found that amazing grace is more than just a song, it is a way of life.

Indeed, I know that in my life that I can actually get excited about encountering difficulties. It means two things. One, that I am on the right track and someone wants to knock me off that track and second, it means that I have to opportunity to become strong through a power much greater than I could possibly possess on my own.

The other thing that strikes me is that the "currency" in which we trade abroad is much like the difference in what is valued in a life of faith.

Matthew 6: 25 says:

25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

While everyone scurries about trying to take care of their natural needs - food, drink, clothing, bigger and better jobs and places to live, in a life of faith, it is possible to rest - secure in the fact that if God in heaven will take care of the birds, how much more will He meet my needs. It is not just words, it is a peace that passes all human understanding. Whew...... why choose to worry instead?

Stephen Curtis Chapman has a wonderful song, called His Strength is Perfect.

His Strength Is Perfect

I can do all things Through Christ who gives me strength, But sometimes I wonder what He can do through me; No great success to show, No glory on my own, Yet in my weakness He is there to let me know . . . CHORUS His strength is perfect when our strength is gone; He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on. Raised in His power, the weak become strong; His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect. We can only know The power that He holds When we truly see how deep our weakness goes; His strength in us begins Where ours comes to an end. He hears our humble cry and proves again . . .

So now, as I await my plan to go home after a long week away from my family, I rest in the power that His strength is perfect to get me through the search for funding for our new business, for search for the perfect executive team, through making it through technical difficulties with foreign outsourcers and with trying to make content "perfect" for our rollout and most importantly, for finding the life balance that allows me to be more present for my family when I am home.

Chicke Fitzgerald
wife, mom, CEO and "One who seeks His face"