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Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Do The Right Thing
Gratitude Year 4-Day 186: Today, I am grateful for those who take a stand and do the right thing. One more 4th of July ...related post. It is only the 5th. I stumbled onto another Ronald Reagan quote that fits perfectly with my verse of the day:
In that day you will say: “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. -Isaiah 12:4NIV
Whom do we praise? Whom do we exalt? Whom do we serve? Whom do we acknowledge with "all our ways" for all of our days?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. -Proverbs 3:5-7
This land has had rich blessings. There are times in our history that the presence of God is so evident that some of our nation's stories seem unbelievable. When something happens that looks like "pure luck"... it is wise to look for the hand of God. Coincidence or God's hand? We like the to quote the first half of this passage...but the second half is what qualifies us for the blessing of the first half.
Submit. Be humble. Hold respect and reverance for the Lord. Shun evil.
"Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil."
I find awe in the miracle that this little planet of ours spins at just the right distance from the sun to make life sustainable as it revolves with such meticulous order. The miracle of life from conception to birth will always take my breath away. His hand is evident.
Then... in life's interruptions and inconvenient moments ...after frustrations resolve and we gain a little distance from the struggle... only then do I start to realize that He was slowing me down to protect me! Maybe from an accident... or something else far worse. His hand is in the details that create the big picture. I can't always see the big picture. I don't have God vision. I need to remember to take a minute and celebrate when hindsight makes things clear. I forget to say thank you. His hand is working.
Randy and I recently saw a sign in a shop that said, "Always do the right thing.". I paused and had him look at it, too. I love my guy for many reasons...on of them is his tolerance of my need to be surrounded by quotes, words and books. We both concluded...we have never seen this in home decor. (We didn't buy it...but I am obviously still thinking about it.)
"Always do the right thing." Now, human imperfection prevents us from getting it right every time, but by God's grace we can get it right more than we get it wrong. He continues to do His work in our hearts and doing the right thing together can become a powerful force.
Mama Ina Mae and my sweet Mother-in-Law Shela... both preached "Do the right thing" but more than that, they did their best to live it. "Do the right thing"... even when it is hard. Even when know one will know that you did the right thing. Not for the glory, but out of reverence, devotion and love of the One who came to pay the price for our sins... and the times we get it wrong.
The faith of our fathers and our mothers before us helped shape this land we love. There was a moral compass that helped direct them. They prayed (yes, they did). They pressed on when things were tough and did not give up. They offered gratitude to God at the end of the good days... and the tough ones.
Today, I am grateful for those who take a stand and do the right thing. When those in power do the right thing, it can change the course of history.