Health and Healing. Day eight...
“There has been a change in plans.” I can't recall ever hearing that statement, no matter who made it, without having the momentary thought, “What's wrong?”
We don't like change. Even if the chair we're used to sitting in isn't the most comfortable chair in the room, we don't like to change places.
Change is usually forced on us by the circumstances of life.
I've never heard of anyone who cheerfully wakes up in the morning and says, on a regular basis, “I think I'll change my life today.” No! It's more as a consequence of waking up in the morning with something like a terrible hangover and saying, “I have to make a change.”
As we discussed on Friday, the plans we've made for our lives haven't been all that good for our health.
- In order to fit everything in, we “grab” something to eat, but the kind of food that can be grabbed from the drive‐thru window generally doesn't have much nutritional value.
- In order to deal with the stress, we treat ourselves to foods that are comfortable and activities that are entertaining, but sugar and distraction just compound the problems.
- In order to deal with the symptoms of the physical and emotional strain, we take various over‐the‐counter and prescription medications, but the root of the strain continues to take its toll on our health.
Sometimes we go through all of this, in the pursuit of our own agenda, and end up with nothing (as happened to me).
I had always dreamed of having my own business. And the dream turned into plans after visiting the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI. I was in my late twenties at the time, and to be around all the memorabilia of industrial giants such as Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone just set my entrepreneurial imagination on fire.
I never asked God what His plans were for my life. I didn't even believe in God at that time. I just knew that I wanted to have my own business. And since I'd spent the last few years working in the wood products industry, I decided to start a furniture factory.
For over twenty years I owned and operated a furniture factory. As the business grew the demands on my time grew as well. But having a wife and three small children does not mix well with the occasional all‐nighters and the long hours.
And in the middle of all this I became radically born‐again. My life, however, didn't turn into a fairy tale. As a new Christian I not only had the pressures of family and business—I also had a factory full of workers who suddenly became human beings to my newly‐thawed heart.
I did the best I could to balance everything—I really did.
When I was at work I didn't just tend to business. I spent as much time helping employees with personal problems as the typical pastor of a small church would spend with his congregation. People were born‐again both in my office and out on the factory floor.
In spite of the demands on my time, however, I never missed an activity with my children. But when I was home I wasn't really home; my mind was constantly dealing with all the issues that were messing up my plans.
Oh, but I was living the American Dream! And I was helping God at the same time!
But then change was forced upon me. First, there was the divorce. Then six months later I had to put dozens of people out of work, close the factory, and liquidate the assets.
So much for my plans!
Don't be too quick with the sympathy. Hear the Word of the Lord, instead.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV)
His thoughts toward me did not end with my failures. His thoughts toward you will not end with your failures either.
More on this tomorrow.
Have a good day,