#wheresHISwindow?

#wheresmywindow. That’s the recent hashtag trend from disgruntled airlines passengers. They are supposed to have a window seat, but they find themselves next to a wall with no window. In some cases, passengers even paid extra for a window seat. So they express their displeasure on social media…with #wheresmywindow!

Of course, we all know the problem. In an effort to increase profit, airlines cram more passengers onto planes. But they can’t change the size of the plane or the location of the windows. So they add more rows; and when they do, some passengers are off-center from the windows. In some cases, there is no window near them at all.

Personally, I like the aisle. Despite the danger of being hit in the knee with the beverage cart, the smaller window seat is no fun at 6’3”. But, in all fairness, I understand the anger. If you want a window, and you paid extra for it, you don’t want a wall!

I wonder though, if most people don’t do the same thing as the airlines. We claim we are giving window seats, with a view of our hearts, to loved ones and to God. But there’s usually a wall there.

We cram our lives full of things that push others into a seat that has no view of our hearts, our minds, our very souls. We don’t do it maliciously; we are just trying to maximize our efficiency. And we get so busy that we lose focus on things that really matter.

We would do well to remember that we do better with windows than walls. When I give brothers and sisters a window seat, they can help me know when I am off course; they can pray for me; and they can help me with my sins (Galatians 6:1; James 5:16).

God, of course, sees everything, regardless. But He prefers it when we purposely give Him the view, admitting our faults and asking Him to watch over our souls. Give Him the window seat; after all, He paid for it by the blood of Christ.

#HISwindowseat

Sitting Is Killing Us…Physically and Spiritually

Sitting is killing us. No, seriously. Sitting. Of all the things out there, it turns out that simply sitting is a significant risk to our health. In fact, experts are calling sitting, “the new smoking.”

According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, (Click for Study), researchers have tied sitting for lengthy periods to an increased risk of death in subjects who were 45 and up. Regularly sitting more than 30 minutes at a time increases risk, and 90 minutes or more doubles the risk.

Do you know how much time you sit? Probably more than you think. Previous studies based on self-reporting had people sitting ~9.5 hours/day. But when participants wore activity monitors, the results were ~12 hours out of a 16 hour waking day!

Many of us have jobs where we sit…a lot. So we exercise. But according to the study, exercise doesn’t cancel out the problem. We still need to get up every 30 minutes and have 5 minutes of walking or moving around time.

Spiritually speaking, the same principle is true. Many of us think that by praying at meals, going to church on Sunday, and occasionally reading our Bibles, we have “exercised” our faith. But short bursts of exercise are no match for movement throughout the day.

We have been fooling ourselves. The truth? Most Christians today are morbidly stationary in their faith.

So what’s the solution? Move! That’s why so many of Jesus’ commands to His disciples encouraged movement. Our default is sitting. We need to be reminded… “Wake up,” “Get up,” “Go,” “Pray,” “Carry,” “You feed them,” etc.

Of course, there are limitations. Often, the elderly, infirmed, or physically disabled can’t literally “get up and go” so easily. But, spiritually speaking, we can “take five” from sitting far more often than we do.

I have a watch that buzzes and says, “MOVE!” when I sit too long. Some days I need a spiritual reminder as well, and I’m guessing you do too. Go ahead; take five; and stand up, stand up for Jesus!

Wait Until The End. It is going to be amazing!

So maybe you saw the Tennessee-Georgia Tech game. Tennessee won in double overtime. How? No one really knows. Butch Jones called it a, “will to win,” season. I just call it another 4th quarter heart attack season!

But during the game, many Tennessee fans gave up. Many said…“unflattering” words on Facebook or Twitter. Many fans began planning Butch’s retirement party.

Then, with a solid effort, UT caught up, blocked a field goal, and stopped a goal line run for victory in double overtime. And, in football, “a W is a W,” no matter how messy it was getting there. It is in the books. Tennessee is 1-0.

That game was a little like the Christian life. Our lives are messy. We sin. We fail. And sometimes Satan backs us up like Georgia Tech running a triple option.

But, especially in hard times, we need to cling to one truth – we win! Victory is certain for those in Christ. Satan has been defeated. Sure, he will take down as many players as he can along the way. But, for those who remain faithful to the end, eternal salvation is secure.

You see, unlike some fans, the team never gave up. They stayed in the game until the end. And that is the Christian life. We aren’t fair-weather fans watching a game; we are players on the field.

There will be times of discouragement. There will be times of disappointment. You may not be able to see how God will use your life to bring about His glory. You may not see how these present struggles will end in a “W.”

But if we remember that victory is in Christ, the Christian will never give up. The final enemy, death, will be crushed when Christ returns. Just be faithful until the end…it’s going to be amazing!

“But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’” (1 Corinthians 15:54).

Ouch! Falling hurts.

So, as the folks at Clover know, I fell a couple of weeks ago. Wish it was a better story, but there were no heroics; I just slipped and fell. I was trying to wrestle a pontoon boat onto a trailer, slipped, and slammed into the trailer on the way down.

Of course, getting injured is never fun. Despite a small ding to the pride, a couple of stitches in the knee, and some back pain, I’ll be ok. It certainly could have been worse.

The fall reminded me, though, how quickly we can lose our footing and injure ourselves. And if physically slipping causes an ER trip, just imagine what can happen from a spiritual fall. A sprained back and banged knee are no fun; but a damaged soul can end in disaster!

In fact, falling is such a dangerous and important topic that we describe all of man’s experience in Adam as “The Fall.” Paul warns us to be careful that we do not fall from grace (Galatians 5:4). Peter warns us to be on guard against a “fall from your own steadfastness,” (2 Peter 3:17).

So what can we do? We can’t undo the fall. That’s done. There is no going back.

But, moving forward, there are two solutions:

  • First, we need to see the great physician. When I went to the doctor, they examined me, cleaned out the wound, and patched it up. Going to the Lord when we sin is similar. We honestly confess, ask for healing through forgiveness, and receive treatment.
  • Secondly, we need to do our best to remain on solid ground. The sure footing of salvation is in God alone. Scripture warns that we had better be careful so we don’t fall, especially when we think we are “fine” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

We all slip in sin. When we do, John comforts us with these words: “if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” (1 John 2:21). He picks us up when we fall and helps us to stand securely when we live in Him!