Tag Archives: Hebrews 12

He’s Back! (but he is not in control)

In the classic movie The Shining, there is a horrifying yet tantalizing scene of Jack Nicholson axing through a door declaring crazily, “Here’s Johnny.” In this renewed creative work of mine, I kind of feel like that scene where I am axing through the door of busy-ness, of distractions, of creative mind-block and more … in a crazy world. I sometimes feel like Nicholson and life is driving me crazy, and I sometimes feel like my world is inside the room and the rest of the world is axing into it. 

Nicholson shows me one truth though – I am not in control.  In the movie, it is the snow and isolation that seems to be the impetus of the craziness. But it is so much more too. There is another line he  says that kind of points to the way I feel the world is coming at me …

I’m not going to hurt you … I’m just going to bash your brains in.  


I am not in control.

  • The storm causes spots on the highway that yields to a car hydroplaning off the road: I am not in control
  • I am walking a trail in perfectly dry and (semi) clean shoes when I step in a muddy water hole, or a pile of something else: I am not in control
  • I eat my vegetables and exercise, yet I am diagnosed with a life altering, or life ending disease: I am not in control
  • I have a paper to finish for school and the power is knocked out for hours: I am not in control
  • I think I’ve found the girl with whom I want to spend my life and my parents make me move 2000 miles away: I am not in control
  • I raise a child, teach him Biblical, Christocentric world view, yet he rebels and turns to the ways of the world not the Word: I am not in control
  • I buy and build a home that I try to use to honor God and a storm destroys it in seconds: I am not in control
  • I leave my child for 30 seconds to get something and a tragedy hits that from which I will never recover: I am not in control
  • The office catches on fire, the car breaks down, a pandemic hits the world, wall street crashes because politicians bicker over minutae while Rome burns, the love of my life dies of cancer, I’m left alone with no family, no friends, no hope

It’s as if the world is saying — I’m not going to hurt you … I’m just going to bash your brains in.  

Soooo – It’s Monday, August 1st. I am returning to Muddy Shoes from an extended hiatus, and what do I write about? I am not in control. Life gets muddy this way.

QUESTION: So how do you get through all this? How does one survive a world that clearly shows you that ‘you are not in control’? 

ANSWER: You get to know the One who is control. You learn His ways. Trust His power. Rely on His providence. Live according to His principles. You Fix Your Eyes on Him. Run the race, muddy shoes and all, with chaos and mayhem all around, with life trying to bash your brains in, but run it knowing He understands, He ran it too, and He is in control.

Fix your eyes on Jesus.

As I start Muddy Shoes back up, I hope together we see more of life’s funny mayhem and the Lord’s powerful faithfulness. We can fix our eyes together – and let’s start doing it today. Just one day at a time. One section of the race. Just Monday. Just today. You are not in control, but He is – so fix your eyes on Jesus.

image from Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BEpAtEJRxlE/

—— Pics from The Shining are used.

Fear vs. Focus

I walk funny. It’s not an arrogant stride or a sexy swagger. It may turn heads, but not in the cool way. It’s a slight limp/stiff back/weird wobble type of stride. Don’t get me started on what my so called run/jog looks like. Add to that my often apparent lack of grace at times … I will trip over a flat surface, run into walls (that appear out of nowhere), and seem to always end up with the wobbly chair. Yep, like Maxwell Smart is the smooth spy, I am the smooth operator of life.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have an excuse or two. Spinal issue, a couple of car wrecks (not my fault), the way I sat as a kid (momma said it would come back to me), or a work injury in my college days. Pick one or all. And I will take walking funny as opposed to what I feared one day years ago.

Why go into this? Here’s why – there was one day years ago. It was shortly after my work injury. I woke up early in the morning and was paralyzed. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t feel anything below my neck. I literally laid on my back and began to panic.

I had great fear, I mean GREAT fear. Images popped into my head – wheel chair, lifetime paralysis, and worse. I screamed.

Maybe, this is what the disciples felt spiritually that weekend Jesus was in the tomb. Maybe this is what Peter felt after denying Christ. Could this be the emotional equivalent of what Paul felt after being blinded on the road to Damascus?

Fear … it paralyzes, it harms our health, and even leads to premature aging.

So the key – refocus. It’s not about getting distracted from our fears, but focusing on something that is greater. Hebrews 12 tells us to keep our eyes on Jesus, for He is the one who started us on our journey and He is the same one who will get us through it.

We can trust Him. He is worthy, and He is greater.

Back to my story. I screamed. But then I closed my eyes and prayed. I focused on Him. My paralysis didn’t disappear (well it did, but not instantaneously). But I lay there and I was at peace. Never walk again – that’s okay, wheelchair – God’s got me, whatever comes – He can handle it.

COVID19 got you down? He’s bigger. Job on the line? He’s got a plan. Health scare? Nothing He can’t get you through.

Like 2 Kings 6, we need to just pray to have our eyes open so we can see what God already has in place all around us. from ‘oh no, what shall we do?’ To ‘Wow!’ Don’t panic – just change your perspective.

So don’t fear, just change your focus.

Back to the Rat Race?

Back to the rat race. We all have these moments. We get back from vacations, special events, time away, or even just an afternoon off. We return to the normal pace of life. And in that single moment, the joy, the excitement, the upswing of time away is replaced with a downswing of ho-hums and sighs.

Back to the rat race.

I did an in-depth research into this phrase (okay, it was a simple Bing search). Though the idiom originated in America, the actual beginnings are a mystery. A MIT professor connects it to the wheel, a hamster type wheel, where you run, run, exercise, spend great amount of energy, but you get nowhere.

Another idiomologist (is that a real thing?), connected it a circular maze, where the rat (and us) go through twists, turns, and a set of trials in a preset path on a maze built to test, exhaust, and ultimately get us nowhere. On this image, some say this is what a city might look like from above … rats scurrying around all over town but getting to no real destination … just running around, exhausting ourselves, and doing the same thing tomorrow.

So I am back … but do I have to look at it as a rat race? Do you feel you’re in a rat race? Going nowhere?

Maybe you need to take some advice given years ago …

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith …

Some thought from this …

Realize you are not alone and there are others cheering you on … even if they are not right beside you.

Get rid of baggage or weights that get in the way. Maybe you need to simplify a little. I have a few hoarders in my circle of friends and family, both hoarders of physical items and emotional items. Sometimes you just gotta cut it lose.

Get rid of sin and things we know we are not supposed to be doing. Bad habits … flush em. Unhealthy thoughts … 86 the way of thinking. I think it’s more then they cling to us, we often cling to them. Get rid of it.

Stay with it. Run with endurance. It’s tough, yes … but know running His way is worth it.

Keep your eyes on Him. Stop telling God how tough and big your circumstances are, and start telling your circumstances how tough and big your God is.

Just a few words from a fellow racer. But I am not a rat, I am a loved child of God. So are you. Run like it.