SBC Life Articles

Drifted or Lifted?

A boy came home with a report card that skipped the first few letters in the alphabet. He handed the report card to his Dad and said, "What do you think caused this — heredity or environment?" The answer is both. There is something wrong with everyone and everything, because we live in a fallen world with fallen people.

Murphy was an optimist, and what can go wrong usually does. Whatever line you are in slows down, because you are in it. If you switch lines, you will slow down the other line, so just stay put. The mate that snores goes to sleep first. Why? Because the angel in charge at night gets bored easily and likes to laugh. When you're early for your flight, the plane is delayed; and when you're running late, the airline is proud of its on-time departure. The barcode never works on your most embarrassing item. I know this, because I raised three daughters. I once tried to sneak out of a store with the cashier waving an embarrassing item and yelling for a price check. I said, "Put it down. I'll pay anything."

I love the ocean, and people often ask me about sharks. My advice is when you hear the music, get out of the water. I was so excited the first time I was allowed to swim in the ocean without adults. We had been swimming for quite a while when I looked over to find my parents. They had moved about half of a mile down the beach. They were trying to lose me. Then I looked again, and the hotel had moved half of a mile down the beach. As far as I knew, hotels didn't move. I realized that I had moved. I had drifted and didn't know it. We often drift in our thinking without realizing it. Our thinking now creates unreasonable expectations that set us up for disappointment.

When I was in private practice, ladies would say, "Dr. Lowery, if only my husband would listen the way you listen, and if only he would look into my eyes the way you look into my eyes." I would reply, "Pay him $100 an hour like you're paying me, and he'll look into your eyes."

Likewise, men often compare their wives to Hollywood women. Remember, those women don't really look like that; it's just a fantasy. One famous actress was on the cover of a national magazine, and the editors airbrushed several pounds off, because she wasn't thin enough. The actress was irate. These women spend several hours having hair and makeup fixed, and that still isn't beautiful enough for Hollywood.

Do you see the picture of me at the bottom of this page? I don't look like that. It took a lot of work just to get that. You should see me right now, trying to get this article done. Tear up that fantasy of people and circumstances in your life that doesn't exist and accept that people are defective and so is this world. This world and the people in it have all been recalled by our Maker.

I have tried to discourage you so I can encourage you. If you are not thinking negatively enough, let me continue. I will remind you that you came into this world without hair, teeth, or bladder control, and if you live long enough, that is how you will go out. Life is really a dash between diapers and Depends. If we are truthful, life is more like a country/western song than a Hallmark card.

So how do you stay "up" in a "down" world? You can never see the sun rise by looking west. Make sure you are not in the wrong position. You have to look at the cross. Jesus didn't just explain suffering. He didn't just talk about difficulty. He experienced it. It is not the fact that He was on the cross; he actually did something to the cross. The cross was a cross that became a crown, because He took life's greatest difficulty and gained God's greatest glory.

Life does get difficult, but you can take that difficulty to the cross. You can tell Jesus that you are tired and have a headache from all of this difficulty. He will respond that He knows — they put thorns into His head. You can say that your hands are tired, and you work all the time. He would say that His hands hurt as well — see the scars. And you might say, "But, Jesus, that religious crowd really gets me down." And He might reply, "I know — they killed Me." You can stay "up" in this "down" world by looking at the cross and realizing that failure is never fatal from God's perspective.

A little girl walked into church and saw a huge cross hanging on the wall. She told her Daddy that it was the biggest plus sign she had ever seen. So, what is the cross doing in your church? It should be there to remind you to stay positive. Why? Heredity and environment. Because of the cross, I am a child of the King, and I live in a mansion just over the hilltop.

    About the Author

  • Charles Lowery