Daily devotional, 15th of July 2013.
Ecclesiastes 9 and 10.
Hi. I hope you’ve had an incredible weekend. I had a lot happening this weekend and I’m getting more and more excited about my trip. Only 25 days to go. So amazing! I already have one bag packed up!
Well, this morning I read Psalm 92 and 93 and Ecclesiastes 9 and 10. Ecclesiastes is coming to an end and we can sense that in the tone of the texts.
I thought I would give you a break of my long texts and would just show what called my attention on this reading. I’ll let the text speak for itself:
I also saw other things in this life that were not fair. The fastest runner not always win the race; the strongest soldier does not always win the battle; wise people don’t always get the food; smart people don’t always get the wealth; educated people don’t always get the praise they deserve. When the time comes, bad things can happen to anyone!
You never know when hard times will come. Like fish in a net or birds in a snare, people are often trapped by some disaster that suddenly falls on them.
There you have it.
Ahhhh, Ok, I’ll share a little bit, I can’t help.
I love when a verse speaks to a current situation in your life.
Recently my basketball team (if you don’t know, I coach Basketball) had the biggest game of the season! We had a whole week of preparation, we were ready and confident! As a group, we were much better, but guess what? We lost the game! Something happened and we lost the game!
I believe the preacher uses these terms to point to something. For example: “The fastest not always win…” Why? Because the race of life is not a sprint, but it’s a marathon. It’s not speed that is going to take you to the finish line being the most successful, but resilience. Life, as we learn in chapters 9 and 10 is not fair, so it’s not an easy game, and understanding why things are like they are is impossible… In fact, it’s foolishness, like trying to catch the wind as the preacher himself said before…
“The strongest soldier don’t always win the battle…” Why? Because the battle of life is not a black and white, straight forward battle with standards as we know where all things being equal, wins the most geared up! Life is very much gray when it comes to this subject. In fact, Paul says that our For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
The battle is much more complicated than we think.
There is a story of a in the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell that illustrates this principle with excellence. This story involves a man named Paul Van Riper and the Millennium Challenge War Games of 2002. Van Riper, an experienced Marine Corps commander, was appointed head of the Red Team; the enemy team in which Van Riper was a rogue military commander who had broken away from his government located in the Persian Gulf. He was to have a strong following of religious and ethnic loyalties and was harboring four different terrorist organizations (sound familiar?). The Blue Team (the United States) was given millions of dollars worth of high-tech gizmos and hundreds of military analysts, as well as significantly more troops. The Blue Team was given the equipment to know exactly where the Red Team was at all times, and supposedly all the information to know what the Red Team would do before they actually did it. The events of the games, however, did not go exactly as the Blue Team had expected. On the second day of the “war,” Van Riper sent a fleet of small boats into the Gulf to track the ships of the Blue Team. He them attacked them in an assault of missiles, sinking sixteen American ships before the Blue Team had a chance to strike. Being an experienced military man, Van Riper knew what all the analysts and technology whizzes working for the Blue Team could never understand: when making decisions under immense pressure, experts won’t logically and systematically compare all available information. That takes far too long. Experts know to thin-slice the situation and react to the best of their ability. Unfortunately, this method did not sit well with the United States Military. Those in charge of the War Games “un-sunk” the lost ship and gave Van Riper a script to act from, in which the Blue Team, of course, won. After hearing this story, is it any surprise that shortly after when the U.S. declared war on Iraq, ensuring a straight-forward and quick victory, that troops are still being sent over and loosing their lives? Van Riper’s story provides a frightening example of what can happen when people in high places venomously ignore their snap judgments.
Even though I read the book and loved it, I copied this brief description of the exercise because this guy had much better words than I had to explain it. You can read the review HERE. And you can buy the book HERE if you want to… I get no commission for indicating the book to you though… Maybe I should negotiate something with Malcolm (jokes).
Oh well, the verse goes on to explain more about life situations and circumstances that grab us by the neck and drag us to places we never wanted to be.
So, next time you think life is not treating well, think again, it’s not supposed to!
So go ahead and live your life, enjoy it while you can!