Asbury United Methodist Church
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May 24, 2017

I think today might be a good day to talk about stability!

            My trusty, rusty American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines stability as constancy of character or purpose; tenacity and steadfastness, reliability and dependability.

            What’s not to love…right? Instead, most of the time culture seems to consider stability to be tedious at best.

            In this new day and age we must keep all of our options open. After all, if we are not careful the next best thing will come around and we will miss the boat!

            Something more fun could come along and if we have planted somewhere, made commitments and such, we might miss out!

            For many folks stability is a sketchy concept. We link it to stagnation; and, in this so-called postmodern era that worships change, stability is not exactly a virtue!

            But, let’s take a closer look. What if…what if we are surrounded by forces that seek endlessly to make neurotics out of all of us?

            What if there are efforts in motion, often behind the scenes that directly bear weight upon our lives but are so subtle that we hardly even take notice?  What if we are besieged by endless attempts to convince us that we are missing the mark in some way?

            For example, my son-in-law said that he was in Home Depot the other day and while in the parking lot walking back to his car, his phone started buzzing!  It was Home Depot nagging him about items that he may have needed but had not bought!

            Thanks Instagram!

            These unseen or little seen forces take a toll on the foundations of our lives.   We walk and live in constant upheaval.  We are like pinballs in a machine being knocked about.

            While stability seeks to become the great leveler of society, we are bombarded by forces that urge us to be dissatisfied with being on a level field with anybody!  After all, if we are on a level playing field, how can be special?

            And, there it is! At the very root of discomfort we will find the enemy pride complete with sidekicks ego and greed.

            On Sunday I mentioned the relatively new soda fountain soft drink machine called the Coca Cola Freestyle. It dispenses one hundred flavors of soft drinks, including…get this…water; and, if you are not satisfied with just water you can have flavored water.           

            (Moe’s Southwest Grill now has a margarita flavored soft drink in their Coca Cola Freestyle machine! I’m just sayin’!)

            I know, I harp on this all the time and I am not throwing the Coca Cola Company under the bus so much as to point out the capriciousness of our culture.   It helps turn on the light a bit when we contrast this drink machine with stability.

            Factually, the top four best selling soft drinks in the entire world by a huge market share are in this descending order: Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Pepsi, and Mountain Dew! I looked it up!

            But, these flavors are boring!  OK…so, if they are so boring, why are we buying them in droves?

            Furthermore, I wonder about the cost analysis regarding how many more tacos Moe’s sells by now including a margarita flavored soft drink. I didn’t look that up.

            But as we cut through the clutter, stability appears to be our true heart’s desire. It is nothing short of a life that is rooted in the love of Christ.

            If we honestly search our hearts, we intuitively know this is true. And, Christ offers stability in the one thing that can never fail, his faithfulness itself!

            Check out what the prophet Isaiah has to say:

            “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.   When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

(Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV)

             God is the ultimate stability. “I the Lord do not change (Malachi 3:6 NIV).”

            Ironically, once we choose stability over culture it feels as if we then enter an epic, cosmic struggle. We are salmon swimming against the current; and, if we are not very careful we can become weary and give in.

            Even so, I am convinced that what the world needs most is to recover the wisdom of stability. We need the rootedness that can only be found in the love of Christ.

            We may be at a crossroad today.  So consider…maybe today is a good day to trust that the heart knows what it needs most, the solid rock that is Jesus.

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