Toothpicks and rubber bands

What do these two items have in common? Not much, except they should be in your daily survival kit!

A few blogs ago, I described the race that is set before us. Our life’s journey is frequently compared to a course we must complete. It’s not important how quickly we run, but that we stay on track. Various elements, detours and many other bumps-in-the-road will discourage us, possibly tempt us to quit. Even if you’re not a runner, the analogy is very easy to understand: our years can be filled with purpose, direction and resilience.

For some of us, the finish line is well within reach. For others, it will be a much lengthier expedition until that final lap of completion is upon us. Every day requires commitment and strength beyond our abilities. This is where God’s Word can supply us with the basic essentials required to finish the course…and finish well.

These basic essentials are available for all participants! Our mission is to recognize their priority and utilize them effectively. How rewarding our time on earth will be, when we’ve relied upon the items in our survival kit!
Here are two pieces to consider:

toothpick clip artTOOTHPICK
~reminds us to pick out the good qualities in others!
Too many times, we focus on the negative stuff and make wrong assumptions; we might form an opinion that is too hasty or harsh. Matthew 7:1 says to “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” His words here were addressing the behavior displayed by the Pharisees. They were a religious sect in Jesus’ day who were very rigid and severe in their thinking, possessing a fault-finding type of spirit. They looked down their noses with an air of superiority — what was actually going on in their hearts? Certainly not a loving attitude!

We have to be very careful that our behavior is not condemning or critical. What is going on inside our heart, if we are acting that way? Make an effort to pay someone a compliment, be positive and encouraging in your relationships with others. This type of attention pleases God and can be quite contagious!

gumby clipart

rubberbank clip artRUBBER BAND
~ reminds us to be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want, but it will work out.
This quality makes me think of the Marine Corps motto. Semper Fi means “Always Faithful” but there is also Semper Gumby, which is the military’s way of saying to be “Always Flexible.” For those of you who may not remember Gumby, he was a bright green, very bendable, animated cartoon. Serving in the military requires a surrendering of self; patriotic duty demands a compliant spirit and loyal support. And you never know what is coming next. You have to be ready, but you also have to be flexible.

Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” This verse can help us to trust God in those times of anxiousness when we don’t always know what is coming; but, we DO KNOW that it will eventually come to pass and that God is always in control. And God’s Ways are always GOOD.

If we truly love Him, we should be trying to live in a way that honors Him. Whatever God has allowed into our lives has a purpose. We can have assurance in knowing that since God is in it, He IS working it together for good! Don’t tense up, rather stay loose….like a rubber band!

*There are more items in our survival kit….stay tuned for the next blog revealing them!