We Wrote The History Book

A few years ago, a nearby high school girls’ track team had tee-shirts made, which said:

“History was good to us, because we wrote the history book.”

It interested me that their motto was in past tense: “WAS good to us”; “WROTE the history book”. They hadn’t even had their first meet yet.

I followed the team closely all season and knew the head coach, so I was privy to his mindset:

He was a stats guy, tallying the potential points from each athlete and her competition, and moving his runners, throwers, and jumpers around on paper until he found the winning combination for each meet.

He was realistic. He knew each athlete’s potential. There were a handful of exceptional athletes on the team, and an abundance of depth. He set high expectations, and believed his team had an outside chance to win the team title at the state meet.

Under his influence, the team agreed that the title would be won. Not MIGHT be won, but WOULD be won. Which explains those shirts, printed before the season even started:

“History was good to us, because we wrote the history book.”

One practice at a time … one race at a time … one field event at a time … one meet at a time, those girls worked to make their goal happen. By late May, it was theirs—they owned the state team title. That in a state rich in quality competition.

If you are a believer of God’s sovereignty on earth, as I am, you may assume that God was good to them. I would agree. But did he do their work for them? I’d say no, emphatically no. Those girls didn’t get their vision handed to them on a silver platter—they worked their tails off to get that gold.

They didn’t just BELIEVE it, they DID it. Their efforts combined with their beliefs to write their history.

In the same way, it’s not only God writing your history—it’s also YOU writing your history. When God gives you a vision, you must participate in it. You must DO it. It won’t happen unless you begin it, overcome setbacks that come your way, wipe the sweat off your brow, and continue in it. You must persevere.

Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by a such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” 

May you persevere in each race assigned by our sovereign coach, and ultimately win gold. When you step to the medal stand to receive your prize, be sure to wear your motto proudly:

“History was good to us, because we wrote the history book.”

gold-medal crop

River of Life

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Revelation 22:1

Imagine a dry riverbed. People stand in and near it, waiting. Hoping. Needing. Pleading.

Finally, one day the river fills with pure, clear water. The people are swept from their dry stasis and carried upon its currents.

water, clear blue, cropped stock photo

These are people who want change. They welcome the power in the river. Even if the force of the water is unfamiliar, and therefore uncomfortable, they still choose it.

The water cleanses, flushes, and fills those who have been powerless to make changes on their own. Some are permanently freed when unwanted traits and habits are flushed by the ethereal water; others’ positions or geographical locations change.

Many are filled where there had been voids within. They finally feel complete. Whole. Right. They are experiencing what they have always believed they should be, or could be. Inner deficiencies are overcome. They no longer lack qualities elusive since birth, or lost in their years of parched deserts.

For these people, life changes suddenly. Altered forever. Changed in the way that life changed for survivors of concentration and POW camps on liberation day — blurred days of lack, sameness, captivity, injustice, disrespect, torture, betrayal, and abuse, all having caused erosion of hope — suddenly ended.

With the arrival of the river comes deliverance, and the past is over. Hope leaps to life, justice yields joy, and lives of abundance and purpose replace lives of lack and insufficiency.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

Ask, and don’t be surprised when you are suddenly affected in one of these ways. You will love the change and be forever grateful to God for what he did. Be assured that the water soon (or already) enveloping and filling you is God’s living water, intended for good for you, and never evil. Intended to complete and make whole, and make possible your abundant life. May you take great delight in it.

Young father and his little son swimming in river

Magnanimous

Word of the day -

magnanimous

[mag-nan-uh-muh s]- adjective
1. generous in forgiving an insult or injury; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness: “to be magnanimous toward one’s enemies.”
2. high-minded; noble: “a just and magnanimous ruler.”
3. proceeding from or revealing generosity or nobility of mind, character,etc.: “a magnanimous gesture of forgiveness.”


Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be described by others as magnanimous? It only requires due diligence, and a commited effort to do the right thing in all circumstances. A life befitting the label brightens the hearts of the saddened, lifts the spirits of the downhearted, and softens the defenses of the wounded. May you be a light in our dark world, and be called … magnanimous.

Parable of the Hamster

Several years ago at a grade school where I worked, there was an infestation of mice. Students were asked to clear their desks and backpacks of snacks, while custodial staff handled the eradication of the rodents. One afternoon after the students had been dismissed, a mouse happened near the path of a teacher. Being a pragmatic guy, a farmer on the side, and conveniently wearing sturdy hiking boots, the teacher promptly stomped on it.

Not wanting to burden the custodians, he took cleanup into his own hands. Just as he returned from disposing of it in an outdoor bin, he heard a frenzied colleague inquire of their peers, “Has anyone seen my hamster?”

I know. It’s horrible and hysterical all at once. To us. But not to either of those teachers. And not to the poor little classroom hamster, may he rest in peace.

Unfortunately, we can relate to that hamster. Too often, we have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, incorrectly assessed in an instant, and smashed before we knew what happened. Unlike the profusely apologetic and remorseful teacher in this true story, too many hamster smashers have no conscience about leaving us flattened in their wake.

We try objecting to the wrongful stomper: “But I … I didn’t say that. I didn’t even think that.” Our words are but tiny squeaks: “Hey! Why have I been tried and found guilty of a crime I didn’t do? I didn’t even get a chance to speak.” The people wearing the boots don’t hear. Or worse: they twist our objection into justification for the mistreatment. We get swift kicks for good measure.

There are no quick fixes for the damaging malady of humanity, no “Ten Steps To Eradicate Wrongdoing on Earth”. But we can find some solace in this: We are not alone. Others have suffered injustices too. We are not unworthy beings — it is the crushings that are wrong, not the victims.

Our accusers and abusers may never say they are sorry. The more we trusted them, the more that reality hurts. But we can move on. We can. It may not feel like it when we’re newly and thoroughly smooshed, but we can recover and regroup. As long as there is life in us, we can continue our journey to goodness.

Let’s agree to not become one of them. Let’s vow to never get even by becoming hamster stompers too. Some say vengeance is sweet, but that feeling is fleeting — the path of revenge leads to the ruin of our own lives. Let repayment be God’s business.

Let’s build the ranks of good, not evil. God will help us dodge the stompers of this world so that we can move forward. Onward we go, stronger and wiser and determined. Let’s do some good on this earth we share.

Romans 12:17-21 (NIV): 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Does Anyone Care?

When people can’t be trusted; when even loved ones won’t listen; when nobody comprehends or cares …

You are still never alone; you are never neglected, unheard, or unloved. Always, always, your maker is present to envelope you in his compassion and understanding.

Jesus with child, blog. edited pg

“Trust in him at all times, you people;

pour out your hearts to him,

for God is our refuge.”

Psalm 62:8