God’s Ways Are Different From Ours

Dear Friends,

We are beginning a new series for this month called Wavelength.  Did you ever have an experience of seeing something clearly and the people around you did not?  Or as a parent or teacher or coach and you tried to get your point across and were not able?  Or you gave advice to a child or a good friend and it went nowhere.  Have there been times when you told someone don’t buy that house, or wait two years before you go live away at college or don’t date that guy and they paid you no attention.

On the other hand when someone is on the same page as you it was such a beautiful experience.  It seemed at times that you were so much in sync that a few words conveyed your thoughts on the subject at hand.  As we would like to have this experience with others we ought to desire to be at one with God.  To think more in his ways, which are so high above our ways.  This is not easy since we are human beings and we see things as men and women.  It is of course not easy to change, in any respect, especially in major areas of life.  We also tend to think we are always right, which is the heart of the problem, and others do the same, even when they are wrong.

So this new series for the rest of the month is to encourage you to change your ways, and to think more as God does.  As we did recently we can look at Paul’s letter to the Philippians, which is a very encouraging and uplifting letter even as Paul is in jail in Rome.  In chapter four that we hear today he says, “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.”  This could be a book in itself.  Have no anxiety means don’t worry about anything.  Wow, talk about a change in thinking; I worry in my dreams.

As we have been saying the solution to worry is to pray and when you feel that anxiety starting to set in it is better to turn to the Lord.  It often seems that we do not have control of our thoughts; they fly in and easily fly out or the ones we want to go away stick around.  Paul seems to say don’t let that bother you since those thoughts don’t mean you are a bad person.  The more important point is what you DO with those thoughts.  Paul says at those moments guard your heart and mind with Christ Jesus.  Use prayer to direct and correct your mind and heart.

He goes on to say: whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and gracious and worthy of praise, think about these things. Be more intentional about them.  People are very careful about what they eat and put into their bodies so why not be intentional about what you chose to think about.  This list is a reflection of the mind of God and we want to be on his wavelength.  So the music you listen to, the friends you have, the games you play, books you read, and what you watch on the internet shape the way you think.  It will be difficult to become a disciple of Christ if we don’t start addressing the stuff that comes into our homes and heads.  Do an inventory this week and compare it to Paul’s list.

The gospel (Mt. 21 33-43) wants us to produce fruit.  We cannot say we are saved until we produce fruits of charity, reconciliation, forgiveness, love of the enemy, etc.  These are signs of a mature Christian.  The talks on Mondays and Thursdays are to help us have an adult faith, which many lack today. God has given you everything: a vineyard, parents, an education, good priests and a church.  What have we done with it?

The key to the parable this week is that the landowner went away; he went on a journey and wanted to see what his tenants would do in his absence.  Their actions show what is in their hearts.  He must be absent if the tenant is ever to grow, and mature.  The boss cannot always be watching; he has to see what you do with your freedom.  So take that inventory and see what is in your heart, really.  The gospel is an allegory about salvation history.  Jesus is concerned about their salvation, not what they will do to him.  We need to be more on the wavelength of God, to think as he thinks, at least to aim in that direction.