October 10, 2019
Jul 3 2019
Pastor Dave Koppel
When you ride a bicycle early in the morning, you get in the habit of being vigilant about wildlife. I usually ride before dawn because it’s cooler, and because there’s no traffic…well, except for the animals.
I encounter the occasional turtle, and here and there a large toad, but by far the most prevalent animals that I see are rabbits and squirrels.
Rabbits generally hop out of my way, although there is one corner that I go around where it seems like a particular bunny is always waiting for me. I start to go around the corner and I can see it on the left side. Once it sees me, it starts to hop…right alongside of me, parallel to me. It’s as if the rabbit waits for me to race every morning.
Most of the time, it’s neck and neck for about 15 or 20 feet, and then I pull away leaving the rabbit behind me. Occasionally the rabbit gets a jump on me, and actually gets ahead of me for a little while. Most of the time, it's no big deal...except a couple of times he’s gotten right ahead of me and then cut to the right--directly in front of where I was going causing me to use my brakes or swerve. Most of the time though, it’s not an issue, and I actually enjoy seeing this rabbit in my daily ride. The rabbit is mostly predictable, and it’s fun to think that maybe it is waiting for me each day.
Squirrels, on the other hand, are crazy. I do not understand them. I’ll be riding along like I was yesterday, when a squirrel took off across the road in front of me, perpendicular to my line of travel. It made it three quarters of the way across the road, and I thought to myself, “No problem, I will just go around behind the squirrel.”
But it was at that point, after the squirrel had gone three quarters of the way away across the road, that it reversed direction and cut right in front of me. If it had stayed on course, if he had just continued across the street, there would’ve been no problem at all. As it was--well, it was far too exciting for both of us.
It’s important to decide on your direction and then to stick to it. The Psalmist writes, “I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.” (Psalm 119:113)
Being double-minded can get us into trouble. At best, it will keep us from reaching our goal. At worst, it will get us killed.
The book of James has this to say:
If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord. (James 1:5-8)
I like this on two counts. First, it talks about doubting and being double-minded. I don’t know if you can ever totally erase doubt from your mind--it seems like faith and doubt are sometimes two sides of the same coin. But there is a difference between having a little bit of doubt, and going back and forth, being wishy-washy, and never deciding on a course.
Second, the author says that if you lack wisdom, ask God, and He will give you wisdom. I pray for that a lot! And I trust God.
I just pray that I don’t wind up like that squirrel, almost getting across the road and then jerking back in the opposite direction, endangering everyone and everything.
I also take great comfort in knowing that even if I am having trouble pursuing God, He is still pursuing me.
A few chapters later, James says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8). I believe that and I trust it. I will do my best to keep heading in the direction that He has set for me, and I am thankful that He is right there with me, every step of the way.
In His grip,
P.S. I will still watch out for squirrels, though…