“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them.” David Thoreau

In Walden, Thoreau wrote the thought that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”. The second half of this quote was added later, but it perfectly emphasizes the meaning that Thoreau expressed in his writing.

Today, this quote can be applied to any working individual who has not yet found their purpose. They are simply trudging to work and living for the paycheck, hoping for the weekend to arrive so that they can fill the void in their life with useless pleasures.

This is Sad Clown syndrome. It affects everyone, but men are especially afflicted by it because we take on a burden of self-reliance for family finances, success and happiness.

We struggle alone, locked up in our own minds trying to work out the issue of self-worth. Afraid to show weakness. Weakness, we believe, is not becoming of a man or a professional. So we struggle alone until the sadness and depression sets in.

Our song locked up in us, never sung and never heard. Hidden away because we are afraid it isn’t good enough or it won’t make us enough money. This should not be the case.

Men and women of God need to live knowing that we are not meant to do this life on our own. We must know that our purpose and fulfillment come from being about the Father’s business and He will help us through. Our song and joy come from the Lord. And so too our provisions come from the Lord.

When your secular career and your talents line up, and you work as unto the Lord, that’s when the feeling of fullfilment starts to come. Then use the experience you gain from your day job in service for the kingdom and complete the process.

When we step out of our everyday routine and use our talent for the purpose that has been placed in us it may seem unnatural at first. Yet the feeling of fulfillment will be so worth it.

Sing your song for the Lord and don’t hide it until you die. Maybe the money wasn’t the most important thing when a life is assessed at the end of the journey. Maybe just being what God made us to be is enough.

Allowing Fear in the Face of Courage

I know that sounds backwards. It’s meant to.

It’s meant for those moments when you are so motivated to step out and act out, but then you chicken out.

Like when that awesome song you love starts playing in your earbuds and you think you could just bust the most fantastic moves in the middle of the gym. But then real life comes into focus and you remember you are just not that coordinated.

Yeah…too many other examples to list. But what big life changing things have you missed out on by allowing fear in the face of a moment of courage. What God thing did you miss out on by quenching the spirit.

As we start taking ourself less seriously and understanding that what other people think doesn’t matter as much, we’ll get a lot more big things done. Because it is only God and His glory that will matter in the end.

Your Faith

What is your faith?

Show it to me. How big is it? How much did it cost? What did you do to find it? Where did you discover it? Can you feel it? Is it easy to shake? Why do you have it? Can a person take it from you? Can you lose it? Is it in a building? Is it a building? Is it a group of people? Do you need fancy clothes to be in it?

Remember who perfected your faith.

My faith is not a building or a religious group. My faith is not a set of rituals. My faith is not dead. My faith can’t be taken away from me. My faith has no dress code or minimum bank balance. My faith is evidential and true, I won’t be changing my mind based on cultural pressure. My faith is in Jesus Christ.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.

Hebrews 11:1‭-‬2 NASB

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:7‭-‬8 NASB

Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God , and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
James 2:17‭-‬26 NASB

So much to say, but not a single word…

Thoughts and prayers. Sen. Cory Booker says prayer after a tragic gun related terrorist attack is worthless. But I disagree. I think prayer and a focus on the redemptive power of Jesus Christ is the only actual solution to the problem of terrorism. But I have other thoughts too.

The shooting in El Paso is really staying with me in my thoughts and causing reflection in a more profound way.

I was born in El Paso, though I didn’t grow up there. I only lived there for maybe a few months. I am employed by a large retailer, but that’s just an additional weight on my thoughts.

The topic most prevalent in my thoughts is that these people were targeted because they are immigrants.

This terrorist targeted someone in my country because he is a racist. And I have many un-christlike thoughts about this terrorist that are not helpful to bring any resolution.

I wanted the terrorist dead too. I was hoping some armed citizen had pulled out their legal firearm and took that terrorist out. But it didn’t happen, and that’s not the “christian” way to think.

I wanted to see the cops roughing him up as they drug him out of his car. But it didn’t happen.

I was hoping they would put him in a jail cell with rather muscular and MMA trained people of color who would exact proper punishment upon his face. That probably won’t happen either.

But this is where I must remember that none of that will fix the problem of racism or hate.

Lord help us to love and forgive as we see examples of your love and forgiveness all around us. May we never compare our sins to another and think we are innocent. God has shown us grace and mercy.

Yet the earthly consequences of our actions are still required. And the terrorist who committed this crime in El Paso will hopefully get his, and vengeance is the Lord’s to serve.

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