Thursday, May 3, 2007

Burring the Foxes

This story is one that has many memories tied to it. It was written two months after I joined the ministry, May 2005. Many excuses have risen since that time, many foxes buried. John and I skied the other day and it reminded me of this story. As with all of the stories I’ve written, I feel a need to edit them some. This one was in need of a verse. I have been going through some things lately and as always going to the word seems to direct me just the right way. This week I was challenged on "why are you not _______? I had no excuse, only to realize that God led me to these verses in Ephesians this morning and this has helped me answer the question I was asked. They match this story perfectly and more than that they match my life right now.

1-3In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

4-6You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

7-13But that doesn't mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift.

This will be the first weekly update I have ever titled. You will find out towards the end why it’s titled. Keep in mind these are not scripted and never looked for but are from my heart and reflections of what God has done in my life this week or brought to memory something that needed to be put into words as this is a continual healing process for me.
This is my fourth season skiing. I am a late starter but been around water most of my life. I have been saved since 1988. Lisa and I got saved during a Wednesday night service, how unusual is that. I should have known then God had something very unusual in mind for us in our service for Him. To be quite honest my skiing has lead me on this journey. It seems God has given me something each week to tie skiing in with our Christian walk since accepting His call to IHW. I have tried to not write but it just has got to be.

This week has ben no different. The title is a tribute to the person that this analogy came from. His name is John. He is the very one that God put me in touch with when we first started to ski on a course.
I want you to think about something, all you skiers! What is the one thing we all talk about or tell stories about, either while warming up or I sometimes wait until we get on the back of the boat to talk about. Their I am putting on my ski, talking as usual and out "they" come. What are "they". Have you traced the steps or your routine. I want you to really think about this before I tell you. What do we do before we get in the water, sometimes we wait until after the first pass, drop at the other end, and out "they" come. Sometimes like last week we wait until we make some of the ugliest runs and have some of the very worst skiing in history. We climb back in the boat shaking our head and here "they" come. Have you figured out what I am talking about yet? It’s those excuses. John shared with me the mother of all excuses. It is without doubt the best I had ever heard. You will not guess what the man said!

He falls into telling me about this dead fox near his house. I don’t think he really knew what to do with it. He said he grab the shovel and started digging the hole to bury the fox, he said he even dug little holes for the legs. I can see this hole and more than that I can see the old dead fox standing in the hole, upright and covered up. I think this is how the story went. The point being his skiing may not be good today because he had to bury the fox. He had to dig the hole. I have heard many excuses, the wind, rain, snow, boat wake, not my handle, ran 10 miles this morning, rode 25 miles to get over here on my bike, broke my ribs. You all have a list and know what I am talking about.

Do you see the relation here with our Christian walk. When God gives us a task to do, to serve Him in some other way than perfect conditions we start to make excuses, at least I do. Don’t feel bad, Moses did to, "who am I Lord" he said. This weekend it was the wind for me, before I left the dock, I had the excuse ready. If I don’t ski well today it’s because of the wind! Guess what, with that attitude I didn’t ski well. I had to fight for everything I got today. Was it the wind. NO!! It was my attitude towards the course that was set before me. When God puts the course in front of us we always seem to rush to make excuses why we can’t do it that way. Excuses are very powerful. Sometimes they are helpful because they lead us to where God wants us, they help direct our path and are part of our decision process, we can learn from our excuses. Notice this is not the same as a mistake, we make excuses in order not to make the so called mistakes.
The conditions are not always going to be perfect. I am so convinced this is why God can only show us small parts of His course for our life. We would start making excuses of why we could not do it that way. Not only was this real for me this week but I had a tough question to ask and to answer. It was one of those questions that we try to stay away from because we really don’t’ know the answer and try to say "does it really matter". But somebody gave real good advice "George, you need to find this answer for yourself, don’t ask man, don’t rely on what you were taught, seek God out and ask, go to the word. I had made every excuse not to, "didn’t matter, we can just do things a different way. Something just drove me on and kept saying "what ever you do, "no excuses and no compromises. What ever the out come!
God blessed me this week by giving me an answer to my question. It really does not matter what the question was. The point is how I got to the answer. How many excuses did God have to go through with me to get to the answer. You guys have been skiing way longer than me so I know your excuse bank is rich. How about our Christian walk, how rich is our spiritual excuse bank? How often does God want to do something and we just make a quick withdraw! No, can’t do that, because ______? You fill in the blank. Let’s go this week and try hard to do what God has ask us to do without excuse.

Don’t feel bad when we make an excuse or bury a fox, we are just human you know, it is our nature and will always be a part of our thought process. We love to bury foxes. Does this mean we have to say yes to every little thing someone ask us. NO! It all goes back to what we all have talked about in the past months. Ask GOD! Ask about the big things and the little things. A reason is different from an excuse, it is a different thought process. This week I want to encourage us all to not make to many withdraws and to ease up on the deposits in our excuse banks.
George Beasley

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