I missed my usual Sunday post because of things going on in our journey. These things caused me to think about what the scriptures have to say. I read in the Bible that mankind is fearfully and wonderfully made by God. I understand that mankind is made in the image and likeness of God. The scripture says that God made man (in authority) a little lower than the angels. I also read that Israel’s wise king, Solomon, tells mankind to learn a lesson from ants—lowly near the bottom of the creation chain, ants. What a remarkable paradox. One of the many lessons from the ants is to plan ahead, then carry out the plan. The references to being like God means that mankind can, has and will continue, do amazing things. Another interesting observation that I have made about other living creatures is their ease in cringing in fear one moment only to lash out vehemently the next. Take for example a small dog like a Chihuahua. Have you ever been attacked by one? The moment you return the threat, they tuck their tail and scamper. However the moment you retreat, they return to attack. The reason they act this way is because it is the way they have been created. Mankind can learn a few lessons from God’s creation—if we are willing to learn. This journey that we are currently on began in 2000. My wife and I were going to cast off constraints and “Go for God!” Like any new venture, it was mixed with much excitement, some fear and a lot of uncertainty. Good things happened; then challenges came; then God showed up. This cycle repeated itself over and over again. One thing that I noticed with each passing cycle is that the cocky self-assurance that I once possessed began crumbling; which wasn’t a bad thing. God is not looking for my self-assurance; he is looking for by willingness to let go of anything that is mine in order to embrace everything that is his. I think it might be an accurate statement to say that few find that reality. For example, there is a part of me—perhaps the spiritual component of mankind’s makeup—that wants to laugh at this current challenge treating it like it is nothing. “God’s got this, so why sweat it?” This is like the Chihuahua returning to the attack. It is how mankind is made. However there is another part of me—this I know to be the intellectual part of mankind’s makeup. It is the part that “sees” the hopelessness of the situation followed by the countless scenario’s played out in my mind of “how” to fix this that screams, cries, cusses and fumes. This of course is like our little friend scampering when the attack comes. This is how mankind has become. I am coming to understand the challenges of life have a way of conditioning us to give up. I recall—in what I affectionately call a former life—a counselor asking me why I get up when I am kicked down. “I am an optimist, I get up,” I replied. I openly admit that I am baffled at our current situation. I have a difficult time wrapping my brain around how any of it could be God. The situation has kicked me down more times than I can count, but I get back up. The reason’s I do are simple. It is part of who I am; perhaps because I have too much history of God showing up to quit believing that he will do so this time. I recall one time in 2000 in the kitchen of our tiny apartment screaming at God, “I don’t understand!” As certainly as I am typing this, I heard his voice within my head respond, “I didn’t call you to understand, but to stand!” I knew immediately that the Lord was referring to a passage of scripture that relates to being battle ready. Once you have done everything to stand, now stand with battle gear on ready to fight. Before his suffering, Jesus, told his followers that he had many things to tell them but they could not grasp them at that time. In other words, he was telling them that it wasn’t time to understand—that will come later. Now is the time to stand—battle ready.