Fake it ’til you make it, or turn it over to God?

I’m trying hard to not make this condescending. I’m not trying to be condescending, I feel grief, I feel as if I’m too blame in some way. I ask “how does such tragedy happy?” But there’s no doubt, it is our sinful condition. Even people who should be at the top of their game in the corporate world, conquering new heights, or tilting at windmills, but still sinful, lost. How are they sinful, these are people who were so caught up in their work, in success, in wealth, fame, being first, who can say, but just not handling it according to God’s will and being so consumed with what they were doing.
You can deny it, but we can become so enamored with what we do for work, our entire life consumed by what we do for a living and becoming so consumed, it becomes our idol. That is sin, placing something, anything above God in our lives. Idolatry is not limited to some pagan worshiper bowing down before some statue, or carving or other representation, it’s simply making something in our life our God. We always think we have control over it, we don’t, just like any idol; drugs, sex, money, power, spouse, children, it controls us.
It’s certainly a forgivable sin, Jesus died for idolaters. It’s not “Blaspheming the Holy Spirit”,
The article in “Inc Magazine” describes Bradley Smith whose business grew 1,400 percent in three years and then hit the downside, using all his financial resources, business and personal, his world spiraling out of control.
I worked for a guy in the Coast Guard who used to say “fake it ’til you make it”, he usually said it sardonically, with a grin. The article uses the same expression. We understood what our senior meant, you just aren’t going to learn everything you need to know to go out and deal with weather, seas, people, wildlife, weapons, aggression who knows what and save lives and property, enforce laws, all the Coast Guard missions. You have to go out, project confidence, show ability, rely on your training and yes, God’s grace, and learn while you are doing it.
The big difference is that a Coast Guard coxswain completes the mission, fills out the paperwork, perhaps suffers through any subsequent inquiry, but then moves on. Entrepreneurs can’t move on, a coxswain at some point may have to let the fire burn, may have to let the boat sink. The entrepreneur? Probably thinks he/she doesn’t have that luxury, every waking moment has to be invested in their company.
The article describes two who recently committed suicide and others who dealt with severe mental disorders, all linked to stress, way too many hours, severe depression. The article describes how many coped with their situations: exercise, working out agreements, visualization, not taking it personally. Fine, all good suggestions, and of course, counseling, medication and don’t get me wrong, there are times when these are necessary. We can certainly put our body through such a grinding that we can distort our chemical composition. But have you noticed how temporary, how fleeting?
We were not made to work 12 – 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sure there are times when you have to step up and make extraordinary efforts, but no one can do that and maintain it and I defy anyone to prove to me that is what it takes on an extended basis. You can’t! God simply did not compose us to be able to do it. We end up making an idol to our efforts, all we have is sacrificed to the idol, our life is devoted to this idol and it and any idol other then God will relentlessly grind us down and take everything.
God created us to work six days, go ahead do it. But He required that we have a Sabbath, no it doesn’t have to be on Sunday, there were many times when I had to work on Sunday, but there has to be a Sabbath, a time of rest and to come before God to be strengthened in Him, to be refreshed in Him.
I know, you are thinking, “just another obligation, something else to do.” That’s not the way worship should be. Throughout this entire article I’m thinking “if only they would let God help them, if they would only stop putting themselves over God”. For some of them they lost, for many they ended up on the other side, but I have no doubt even they would say that they have to wonder if it was worth the price.
The article talks about people who become “hypomanic”, they have to run, they have to stay in motion. OK, fine, how about using some of that in service to God, Him using them to serve others? Would that give them some perspective, felt they were serving? After I have served someone else, I have often felt that I received more ministering than that person did. Or how about just spending some time basking in the presence of God who truly does love, you can be as rich as Bill Gates or Warren Buffet or as poor as a church mouse. Fabulously successful or miserable and wretched. He loves you just the same and He longs to touch you with that, to give you hope, to help you know that He wants what is truly best for you. If He wants you to be Warren Buffet and you follow His leading He will do things in life that will astound you. If it wasn’t in His plan for you to be Michael Zuckerberg, you may actually push hard enough to get there, but at a price that will eventually take you down and cost you everything.
Over and over again I heard myself while I was reading this article “what if they’d known Christ, what if they’d taken just a little time to be in the presence of God, to be with brothers and sisters in Jesus, how much would their life had changed?” Your Father in heaven wants what is best for you, grinding yourself to destruction is not His will and will only cost you.
What if some of these guys had a pastor who they could spend some time with, to unload some of their burden, maybe include spouse and children, just a little time, but a little time to be reminded of a loving God, a God that wants to restore and refresh. Working towards God’s glory, who knows maybe you will be the next Jack Welch, or maybe you will be quite content to be less than what you envisioned, but entirely in God’s will and His everlasting arms.
I know this is late, but join us. Feb 12, 10am, the GreenBean Coffee Co, corner of W King St and Beaver St in downtown York, Pa. It would be great to discuss this, or any issues you might be dealing with.

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