Ed, my old neighbour in Saskatchewan, was not interested when I tried to tell him about a book that I am reading. The book that I’m reading is Life’s Greatest Lessons - 20 Things That Matterby Hal Urban. Ed said that I don’t need to read that book because I read westerns and they teach all the lessons I need to learn about life.
He began listing the lessons taught by westerns. First: Love your horse and take good care of it. Second: Clean your gun and keep it loaded. Third: Get on the right side of the law. Fourth: Drink your whiskey straight. Five: The banker won’t give you a loan, or he will foreclose on your mortgage. Six: Cooks on trail drives can only cook beans and bacon.
I am sure that Ed would have given 14 more lessons from westerns, but I managed to interrupt him and say that his lessons are not about today. Ed said that anyone could apply them to today, but he did it for me. Today: love your car or truck, take good care of it. Second: Have a license for your gun but don’t keep it loaded. Third: Obey traffic rules to stay on the right side of the law. Fourth: Drink your whiskey straight at home, so you don’t wreck your truck. Fifth: Bankers will give you a loan, but they want it back with interest. Six: Cooks as you travel along the trails now cook hamburgers with bacon, lettuce, tomato and cheese.
In every age, folks, search to find contentment and happiness. In westerns, the good guy rides off into the sunset, but we know he will never get away from trouble for it will keep finding him.
In life, we can never get entirely away from trouble or unfairness. Life is a challenging mixture of success, difficulty, injustice, laughter, joy, sickness and health. Can we find satisfaction, peace and joy when life is at its best and its worst before us?
Christians look to the example and attitude of Jesus. He displayed a right attitude towards God His Father in heaven to teach us about who holds our lives in His hands. Jesus’ life on earth was about accepting in love all that he experienced in life. He faced challenges, success, unfairness, laughter, joy, pain and suffering. Jesus knew his life was in the hands of His heavenly Father, who would accomplish the salvation of the world through his life on earth.
We don’t know what God will accomplish in our lives as his children, but we know our lives are in His hands. Jesus taught us that our lives are not to be about vain conceit and self-ambition. We are to consider the welfare of others above our own and keep from complaining about others and blaming them. Jesus remained content in whatever circumstances he faced. He did this by keeping himself one with God the Father in prayer.
Sadly, as Christians, we may complain more than we pray. We forget we belong to God, and our lives are in his hands. We also forget that we are God’s workmanship with God accomplishing his purposes in our lives.