Welcome to the Fall! I just mowed my lawn today, and it was nice to be able to do it without sweating, since it was in the 60s this morning. Now, if we can just get some more overcast days rolling in, Pastor Kevin will be a happy man...
Oh, and you’re all welcome to join us for some fun events over the next couple of Friday evenings. This coming Friday (October 16), all of the FCC women are getting together for the annual Ladies’ Craft Night. There’s only so much that I can tell you about that, since the evening is off-limits to men, but as I understand it, the evening is essentially an open house where the women of the church can come and go (starting at 6:30), working on whatever crafts they’d like to work on together, and generally spending some quality time of fellowship with one another. Maybe we can have a Men’s Workshop Night sometime...
Then the next Friday evening (October 23), we’ll be hosting another FCC Trivia Night here in the Fellowship Hall. If you weren’t around for the last one, at these nights, we set teams of amateur triviaticians competing against one another to try to remember odds bits of history, sports facts, famous people, etc., in successive rounds of questions. The key here is to try to get together with a group that has a distinct and varied demographic scope -- to hope that if you don’t know something, some other member of your group would. My brother, Craig, and I would pretty much rule the world, ’cuz our interests don’t overlap on anything...
In our message this week, we continued looking at Moses and his ministry -- this time, focusing on what happened immediately after the parting of the Red Sea. Most movies about Moses pretty much end with the miracle, since it was so visually spectacular, and since things essentially fell down right afterwards.
Within a couple of days, the people were grumbling again (the same people who had just been singing God’s praises after witnessing how incredibly faithful He’d been to them). They complained that they were thirsty, they complained that they were thirsty, they complained that they’d had it so much better in Egypt -- basically, they complained that God answered their prayers... but not the ways that they’d wanted Him to answer their prayers.
God eventually had quail come and sit there to be slaughtered every evening, and provided them miraculous bread every morning -- He literally dropped food out of Heaven for them -- and they eventually even complained about that, too.
But that shouldn’t surprise us. See, the problem with trying to make everyone happy is that once you start down that road, then you have to keep making everyone happy. Instead of appreciating it, people will begin to assume that making them happy is just kinda your job -- so if you ever stop working to make sure that they’re happy all of the time, then they’ll become even more upset than they were before you started trying.
Of course, added onto that is the problem that you can’t just keep doing the stuff that made them happy in the first place, because the novelty will wear off and they’ll simply get used to it. And that means that it won’t seem like happy-making stuff anymore -- it’ll just be you doing your everyday job, and what’s exciting about that? Remember, these are people who eventually got frustrated with God miraculously handing them meat and bread from the sky every day. So you have to keep making them happy by continually doing more and more complicated back-flips for them, or else they’ll turn on you.
Perhaps that’s why God never got into the “happy-making” business in the first place. He has always been far more interested in making sure that people are cared for than in making sure that they’re happy. He’s more interested in making sure that people have what they need -- including the unhappy-making kick in the tuchus that we all sometimes need -- than in making sure that everyone’s comfortable all of the time. He’s more interested in making sure that people mature -- even through hardship -- than in making sure that they never feel the need to grow up.
God is more interested in you becoming who you should be than He is in Him being what you want Him to be.
In a nutshell, if our faith is based on how happy God makes us, then we’re going to be unhappy no matter what the circumstances, because it’s always a losing proposition. If our faith is based on us trying to live out what God is sculpting in us, then we can be happy no matter what the circumstances, because true joy comes not from our situations but from what’s going on inside of us.
So decide right now -- what kind of faith are you going to commit to living out today?