Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vanity Plates by Carolyn

"Who am I? Why am I here?" Penetrating questions, especially when asked in an appropriate setting. James Stockdale, a test pilot, a highly decorated war hero, and prisoner of war for two years, began his 1992 debate for Vice President against Al Gore and Dan Quayle with these questions. Later, writing about his comments, he said he asked those questions to show that he was a philosopher. It did not come off that way. He was ridiculed and immediately became fodder for late night t.v.

Eventually most of us will ponder these questions. What amazes me is how many people answer them on a license plate. RU12XL? Or how about IRIGHTI? These are expressions of individual personalities.

Last Sunday we heard a message from 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak then I am strong." Romans 8:26 says, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." We are weak but He is strong, and when we depend on God and trust Him, His strength is manifested in our weakness.

Our culture tells us the opposite. We should be strong. We should learn how to "get over it." We should not fail, but go from success to success and teach our children the same.

When my children were small there was an all out effort to boost childhood self esteem. A popular song began this way, "The most important person in the whole wide world is YOU and you really ought to know it. The most important person in the whole wide world is YOU and you really ought to show it." In Isaiah 9:10 out of their arrogance and pride God's people say, "We will rebuild." "We will replace." But God says, "What will you do on the day of reckoning?"

Exiting church, talking about these things, we saw a license plate that said "Numbr 1 Mom." "Probably," we said, laughing lightly, "the children insisted on that as a Mother's Day gift!" But it was an apt summary of all we'd just heard. Yet, God wasn't done putting a ribbon on that sermon. Minutes later we saw another, "Glorify God."

How about you? What would your license plate say? I'm guessing it would not say, IRIGHTI "Right between the eyes."

1 comment:

  1. Most of the time, I puzzle and puzzle over what a vanity plate is saying - but that one, "Glorify God," hit me IRIGHTI!! One of my favorite verse from baby Christian days is "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."