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Faith Column: Extreme Swings

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Cold, hot, cool, hot — this seems like a summer of extremes.

First, it felt like the summer that would never come. Then it got hot and humid, then cool and dry for weeks and now very hot and humid.

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Back and forth we go. Where are the 80-degree, medium humidity days that we long for all winter? Why can’t the weather be consistently normal every day like it is supposed be?

Some say that would be boring, but most days I would take boring when it comes to weather. I guess that is part of living in central Minnesota.

We must love extremes; why else would we live in a place that can have a difference of 140 degrees between the high and low in a year?

These swings of hot and cold are a mainstay of our weather, but also of our spiritual life. One day we are going to church, praying to God, all excited about growing in our faith, and a little while later we are too busy with other things and we have no time for God.

Why is that?

Some people seem to only have time for God when they need something from Him. When things get tough, when illness, financial hardship, relational conflicts appear, they are all about God, looking for His help in fixing things.

Now, the Bible invites us to go to God with our needs, but when that is the only time we want to be in relationship with Him, maybe that is a sign that the relationship is all about us and not about Him.

See, we are to live for Him, not the other way around. Our lives are to be lived out as acts of worship to Him.

Most of us believe that for our lives to go well we must be in control and do what is best for us. Our priorities are what matter and they need to be the basis of our decisions and actions.

The problem comes when our priorities are all about us, when we are focused on what makes us happy and how to avoid things we don’t like. We live our lives based on how we feel.

I don’t feel like going to church today, I feel it is OK to tell this little lie, I feel it is right to live with this person who is not my spouse. Then things go bad and we go to God to fix it, to make things right by our priorities.

Jesus said build your life on me, and my teachings, and things will go well for you. Not perfect by worldly standards, but well.

The weather may be an ever-changing part of our lives, rarely meeting our expectations, but our walk with God doesn’t have to be so inconsistent. We can choose to walk each day with Jesus, being in relationship with Him, making Him the solid, unchanging foundation of whom we are.

If we do then we won’t need to run to Him when the storms of life come; He will be right there already.

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