Monday, March 17, 2008

Green Jeans and Soggy Bottoms

"He makes me lay down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters." (Psalm 23:2)

It's kind of nice at first, especially if your life has been a whirlwind of activity; running to and fro, closing deals and climbing the never ending ladder; burning the candle at both ends; living on the edge; coming apart at the seams.

A getaway to a nice balmy meadow, next to a gentle babbling brook is just what the doctor ordered; all we need now is Bambi and Thumper and the picture is complete. Like I said, it's kind of nice -- at first. But as the days turn to weeks, and then draw into months...and then years -- green and wet can get a little old.

But the Lord is not fooling around here. He's after something far more valuable than you being a success, as this world defines it. He is after you being the man or woman He created you to be. And to this end He will make you lay down -- even if you don't want to. He will lead you by still waters, even though you scramble to go somewhere else. And why is He doing this? So that your trust will be in Him -- and not in your own fleshly striving.

If you can somehow get up and walk away, then the Lord is not your Shepherd. And you will never know the indescribable payoff that awaits all those with green jeans and soggy bottoms.

"He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yes, even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil -- for He is with me. His rod and staff comfort me. He prepares a banquet table for me in the presence of my enemies, and anoints my head with oil. Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life -- and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

But you go ahead and walk away; I'm sure you'll find the finer fashions of this world more suitable to your blank eyes, and hollow chest. And, no doubt, the whirlwind will sweep you up in such a buzz that you'll not visit these parts again.

Until you are made to lay down in gray linen on a cold stone.

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