Oh, The Places You Will Go!
Bill Mesaeh / www.billmesaeh.com
1. Brains in Your Head
a. You’ll have many decisions to make
i. To this point, many have been made for you
ii. That gradually diminishes, and you’re left to decide more on your own
iii. There are times that is a good thing,
1. and there are times that it’s a scary thing
b. When you step out to make your decisions, remember:
i. Know your limits
1. Graduation doesn’t make you 10’ tall and bullet proof
a. It’s the start of the rest of your life
2. Diplomas don’t make you wise; they make you educated
ii. Know your resources
1. Wisdom can only come from experience
2. Don’t forget the wise in your life
a. Chances are:
i. they’re older than you
ii. they care enough to share some nuggets of experience
iii. Know your place
1. We often forfeit the counsel of the wise by assuming that God gave us a special crash course in the wisdom that other people have taken their whole lives to accumulate
a. Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old. -- Job 12:12
b. Jacob replied, “I have traveled this earth for 130 hard years. But my life has been short compared to the lives of my ancestors.” -- Gen 47:9
c. The words of the wise are like cattle prods—painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep. -- Ec 12:11
2. Failure is an Event, Not a Person
a. As painful as it sounds, we learn some of our best lessons when we fall down
b. The mistakes that we make do the greatest damage on us when we decide to stay down
i. When we allow them to define us
c. Listen to Paul,
i. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. -- Php 3:13-14
d. Just know now that:
i. Your heart will be broke
ii. There will be jobs you don’t get
1. A test you fail
2. A friend you lose, etc.
e. Find ways to Unslump yourself
i. Draw on your resources
ii. Remember that nothing touches you that has not first been through God’s hand
1. You can endure any What if you understand the Why.
a. The Why may not always be immediately knowable, but you’re different from the crowd b/c you understand that God remains in control during the good and the bad
3. What kind of dirt will you be?
a. One more thing about decision-making:
i. Remember that each decision we make slowly turns us into a different person—for better or for worse
1. Ultimately, you’re deciding yourself into being a specific kind of person
a. You’ll have choices set before you that will require you to draw upon the years of wisdom and lessons you’ve learned along the way
2. In the end, we become the grand sum of our decisions
a. Remember that when you’re tempted to cheat, lie, steal, get drunk, etc.
b. Listen to what Jesus says,
i. One day Jesus told a story in the form of a parable to a large crowd that had gathered from many towns to hear him: “A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” -- Lk 8:4-8
ii. “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest. -- Lk 8:11-15
1. What kind of dirt will you be?
a. That’s a weird way to ask it, but consider how the life you’re living is affecting the seed’s ability to grow
i. Are you choking it out with a bunch of junky decisions?
ii. Or, are you watering it and becoming the person you need and really want to be?
4. Pulling away from the crowd
a. Opportunities will abound for you to do the wrong thing:
i. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, -- Titus 2:12
ii. People are already doing the wrong thing.
1. That’s not new.
b. The last thing the world needs is another copy-cat
c. When it comes to social situations and pressure from your peers, pull away from the crowd
i. Be original
ii. Don’t be a sheep
iii. Be something different
iv. It takes no originality, creativity, courage, or intelligence to join the crowd and do what everyone else is doing
v. Be out front, pull away from the crowd and do what you know to be right
5. Stay the course
a. There will be strange birds
b. There will be chances to question what you’ve been taught
c. You will be tempted to doubt what you’ve always known to be right
d. Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. -- Jn 4:34
i. You can’t be fed unless you’re doing God’s will
ii. You can’t finish if you get off the track
iii. So, stay the course
e. Safely—and I do mean safely—under our parents’ wings, we learn how to tell right from wrong
i. When we leave that safety, wolves approach with cunning attempts to change us into people different from who we’ve always been
ii. Don’t let it happen
1. Remember who you are, and remember where you came from
2. Stay the course, and never—ever—forget how to tell right from wrong