“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men” (Proverbs 18:16).
This morning, Bob and I were visiting with our daughter Janelle before she left the house for work. She was reading her emails and read as article that someone had sent her analyzing the hopelessness of her generation. She said, “Wow, according to this, my generation is entitled and lazy with no desire to invest or sacrifice for the generations that will come up behind us…that’s depressing!”
I’m very thankful to tell you that Janelle refused to peg herself into a box, and decided that she was in this earth to be light and hope – and God has her on earth for a reason! I had a proud mama-moment, because the darker the room, the more influence one light can have. Each of has a choice as to whether we will be a light, or just succumb to the hopeless feelings around us.
Sometimes we feel like powerless victims of our environment. I love the illustration of a thermometer and a thermostat. A thermometer reflects the temperature of the environment. It simply reacts to what’s happening around it. If the temperature is hot, it tells you so. If it’s cold, the thermometer reflects that reality as well. It doesn’t contain intelligent, multipurpose functionality. It has one purpose and one purpose only.
A thermostat, on the other hand, regulates the environment. It sets the desired temperature of the room and actively works to maintain it within a given range. If the temperature rises above the goal, the thermostat signals the air conditioner to crank up and cool the room down. If the temperature falls below the goal, the thermostat causes the heater to turn on in order to warm the room up. The thermostat is intelligent in the sense it’s always monitoring the environment, and if the temperature gets too hot or cold, it decides what to do to correct the situation.
Thermometer-type-people react to their surroundings. Thermostat-type-people set the tone to navigate the rough seas ahead. Joseph and Daniel were thermostats, not thermometers. Rather than being influenced by the culture around them, they helped create culture!!
One of the best ways to shine in a dark world is to put this world into perspective. Tonight I was reading out of Elizabeth Nixon’s “Inspired by the Psalms: Decrees that Renew the Heart and Mind”, and I loved her interpretation of Psalm 7:
“The great thing about God is that I can trust Him. His eternal plan protects me. His friendship vindicates me, and His presence is my safe and calm retreat. I am liberated from all the nonsense of the world’s priorities. He alone is my goal. I pursue Him for no reason other than to enjoy Him. Jehovah, I give you the highest place of my heart! You are established as the ruler over my family’s generations. You are set above. I ratify your promises over my household.” (p. 33).
My friend, we are liberated from the nonsense that this world dictates! We don’t let the world and its despair determine our “temperature” of hope! No, no, no, we are regulators! We bring the promises, protection and provision of the Lord wherever we go. We shine the light, and we create culture every place we go.
Today is my day to be a thermostat…setting the temperature level of Unmoving Faith! Unconditional Love! Radical Mercy! Powerful Grace! Hope for my generations to come!
Bob and I are praying for you, and thank God for you!