Thursday, February 19, 2009

Our Light and Momentary Troubles

Some years ago I was involved in Teen Bible Quizzing. This was an inter-denominational program (though each denomination had its own sub-program) that tried to make Bible study fun while making it competitive. Teens studied the scripture specific to that year, many memorizing it entirely. We practiced twice weekly, and went to tournaments monthly. Teens sat on "jump seats", some kind of pad or contact device that, once the contact was lost (as in when a teen stood to answer a question), an indicator indicated at the quizmaster's table. As the quizmaster read the question, a quizzer jumped--well, the best ones only needed to twitch--as soon as they could figure out the answer. Only the teen who "jumped" first, as indicated by the indicators, was allowed to answer the question. These tournaments were a great time for teens to socialize as well as demonstrate their Bible study skills.

But I prate. I bring that up to say that during those years as a Teen Bible Quizzing coach I found a special Bible verse each year. In the year we studied 1st and 2nd Corinthians, this verse stood out:

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2nd Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)

I found this incredibly insightful, and took it for my life motto. Whatever troubles we have in this world, no matter how bad they are, no matter how long they last, are light and momentary when considered against where the believer will spend eternity. This, I believe, is the best way to look at that portion of our lives we spend on earth.

This blog does not record my spiritual journey. I touch on events and issues of my Christian walk from time to time. But my life is not one of preaching on street corners or shaking sinners by the shoulders and screaming at them to repent. About ten hours a day are my engineering career. Almost an hour is commuting. Seven hours (or a little less) are for sleeping. The evening hours consist of family and house matters and trying to branch out into a career in writing and in that manner nudge a lost world closer to Christ. A tiny amount of time is spent on my hobby of genealogy, which I usually do in chunks of time widely separated.

What I'm saying is, the majority of a man's time--of this man's time--does not consist of overt or bold or in-your-face Christian living. Rather, it consists of every day moral, ethical, legal behavior; of tending to the needs of his business and family in a manner that draws people to Christ and does not turn them away.

Given this, my blog is about my life journey, most heavily the journey as a wannabe writer (since I see that as my best way to influence the greatest number of people), and less about other specific areas. I have also decided not to sanitize that journey. If the good times come, I say so. If the bad times come, I say so. Last post was about some bad times; the one before that was about good.

But always, even when I fail to mention it specifically, the bad times are always light and momentary troubles in my life compared to eternity.

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