If we did a word association game with the words "San
Francisco," I'll bet these two things would come up very
quickly - Golden Gate Bridge, earthquakes. Actually,
both of those subjects came up a lot when we were in
San Francisco for some youth outreaches and to tape
some special editions of a youth broadcast. We did
not arrange for a quake while we were there, but we
did do a program based on them. And we actually
did originate parts of other programs from near the
Golden Gate Bridge and even on it. According to
some local friends of mine there, and they could
just be Californians pulling the leg of East Coast
boy, but they said that the bridge might be one
of the safer places to be during an earthquake.
No, it's not the one that folded during the last
big quake. They say one reason the Golden Gate
could withstand a quake is this surprising fact -
it's built in such a way that it's flexible. In other
words, when the earth under it starts moving,
it doesn't just stand there rigid and break. It's
built to flex when things are shaking. So,
apparently a quake might shake it, but
probably not break it.
The question is how do you react when things
start shaking all around you? The answer may
be the difference between cracking under the
stress and holding together through it. There's
a synergy between the plans we make and
God's plans that calls for some of that Golden
Our word for today from the Word of God,
Proverbs 16:9, "In his heart a man plans his
course, but the Lord determines his steps."
The Bible acknowledges that we will make
plans; the question is whether those plans are
rigid - if we're rigid about having it our way.
That "but" after the part about our plans tells
me that God has the right to pre-empt my plan,
or delay my plan, or redirect my plan. After all,
that's what "Lord" means. Often He leads us
toward a certain outcome, only to surprise us
with an interruption, or with the realization that
He did want us on this road, but for a destination
other than the one we expected. But God's idea
is always a better idea. What looks like Plan B
to me may well have been God's Plan A all along.
"But the Lord determines his steps."
Notice how James teaches us to make our plans.
James 4:15, "You ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's
will, we will live and do this or that'." I'm a planner
by nature. I work hard on those plans, I pray about
those plans. I seek God's direction. But once the
plan is set, whether it's for the next few hours or the
next few years, I don't like change. But change is built
into the system, folks, and those who meet changes
with rigidity will eventually crack like an unmoving
structure in an earthquake. So, this recovering
"rigidaholic" is slowly but surely learning to enjoy
the surprises of God even when they don't appear
to be, at least at first, pleasant surprises. And even
if it's something Satan has thrown in, my Bible
tells me that even that had to be cleared first with
my Heavenly Father. If God said it was OK for
me, why don't I just try to roll with the quake?
I should point out that the Golden Gate Bridge,
while flexible, is not made of Play-Doh. It has solid
structure and so should your life and your days.
This is no excuse for laziness or lack of planning.
But it is an encouragement to folks who like con-
trol to loosen up a little bit and make room for God
to do His very dynamic thing. It's the ones who are
flexible that survive the shaking. Ron Hutchcraft
The real reason that we can't have the
Ten Commandments in a Courthouse ...
you cannot post "Thou shalt not steal",
"Thou shalt not commit adultery", and
"Thou shalt not bear false witness"
in a building full of lawyers, judges,
and politicians. It creates a hostile