So just like the rest of the world, I now have a post about 11 11 11. Not sure why this is so significant, but I guess this kind of thing won't happen every year. Next year I will be blogging about 12 12 12. I'm not a numerologist so this is all lost on me. Nothing really interesting happened to me at 11:11 am so I will wait for 11:11pm to see how it goes. If something crazy or exciting takes place, I'll let you know. 11.11.11
There was this one time when I went to visit Atlanta for a conference. I was a country boy in a big city. I had some free time, lots of free time, so I decided that I would go visit Mercer University outside of Atlanta. I wanted to go to the bookstore and buy paraphernalia with my name (Mercer) on it...I was young and full of myself! So I took the Marta, but had no idea how to really read their map system. I got off the rail and thought I was pretty close so I began to walk. After about an hour and as I entered a deteriorating community I began to think that my decision was not the best. I found a gas station finally and asked for directions. I was an incredible distance from the University and not enough time in the day to walk. As I was standing at the counter considering my options: walk back to Marta, call for cab, or...there really wasn't a third option until a man said he knew where it was and would give me a ride. I swallowed my pride and fear and got in his car and went for a ride. It was awkward for both of us, but as soon as he found out I was a Christian our conversation eased and we both felt more comfortable. I made it there and bought enough merchandise with my name on it to make it worth it.
I didn't have a good plan. I had planned out every other detail of that trip, but this was me being spontaneous. I'm glad I did, because I have never had the chance to go back and visit yet. I wish I had a better plan. Sometimes we can have bad plans and God works despite them and sometimes we have wonderful plans and nothing works out. Sometimes our plans are just puny!
In Numbers 13 the spies are sent to Canaan. The land is great, everything that God has promised it should be. Joshua and Caleb agree that the risk is worth the reward. However, the other 10 can only focus on one aspect. They look like grasshoppers in their own site next to the Nephilim and even to the Nephilim they look this way. Nephilim were known from a specific area and were basically Giants.
In order to take this land they would have to go up against men 10 times their size that could crush them easily. So really you can defeat Pharaoh and the entire Egyptian empire. You can walk on dry ground through the parted Red Sea. You can watch food fall from the sky and water gush from rocks. They had heard the stories of an entire world being flooded, languages changing, not to mention the unique way that a Hebrew found his way as a great commander within the Egyptian empire.
But their plan is puny and they cannot see past a few giants. They cannot see God and can't trust in his power. And so they stir up the report and let it spread throughout all the Israelites and effectively killing the plan to enter the promised land all together. They would wander around until they would all die except for Joshua and Caleb.
They gave up milk and honey and great land due to a puny plan and a great lack of faith
Note: I want you to know that as I studied for the "C'Mon Man!" series you could dedicate your whole blog just to this topic and it live for quite a while. So I'll be choosy with mine and not overload the series. Since I'm using the popular phrase, "C'Mon Man!" I may use "man" when I mean "human or people". This is not intended to be gender exclusive. My friend Mike from Houston made this suggestion on facebook so here we go!
My co-worker recently taught a class of middle school students and she did the unthinkable. She placed one box of donuts in the room with a sign that said in big bolded letters, "Don't Eat the Donuts." And as you have already guessed when class started there was just one left.
Another fun one is to set up wet paint signs on walls and watch as people walk by and intentionally touch the walls to see if it really is wet. Maybe you have your own devious way to trick people and uncover their temptations. Not that God was trying to be tricky, in fact, he was being quite serious when he said,
And just like middle schoolers on a Sunday morning Eve and Adam divorce logic and instruction and take their first and last bite of the fruit. It was probably the best tasting fruit ever known. It probably gushed with juices or maybe crisp beyond belief. But whatever it was, Adam and Eve broke the only rule of the garden. IT WAS THE ONLY RULE OF THE GARDEN. And so women reach levels of pain unimaginable in childbirth, the man's green thumb is cursed, and the serpent lost his legs. And there we have it!
Now say it with me, "C'Mon Man!"
Temptation is around us all the time, every day! Sometimes we run screaming in the night the other direction and sometimes we divorce logic and instruction and self-control and give in. And even when we break the rules, God may be saying, "C'Mon Man!", but I can assure you he is saying, "Come here Man!"
One of my favorite segments on ESPN is C'Mon Man! It really cracks me up some of the "bonehead" plays that exist in college and professional sports. Below I shared on their segments from Youtube. Sometimes you make go for the great play and end up falling flat on your face.
Sports isn't the only place this happens. Scripture is full of "C'Mon Man" situations. I thought I would use a few blogs to highlight a couple. I think this will be fun, not necessarily to laugh at characters in the Bible, but really to see how things got out of control when they could have just let God have control. We'll see how this goes.
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