Destructive Pride- Proverbs 16.18

“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” –Proverbs 16:18

Christ Our Pilot by Warner Sallman

Leaning on our own wisdom and judgment might just lead us toward an ice burg and crash senselessly. Man is prone to error and miscalculations no matter how good he thinks he has prepared for the life long travel. If he will insist to be the captain of his own ship, he might end up under the sea of life.

The Pharos of Alexandria in its grandeur and beauty may also symbolize man’s quest for glory and recognition. By nature, man boasts about accomplishments, which sometimes deludes him in thinking that he is self-made or self-sufficient.

In the earthquake of 1303, the towering monument of Ptolemy, the Pharos of Alexandria crumbled to the ground, and never rose again. It only proves that anything that the human hands build is but temporary. Anyone who takes pride on himself might share the same fate.

Keep on steering the wheel of life with confidence as an obedient pilot. Take pride not in the countless successes you gain in your journey but in the wisdom, power, and faithfulness of the Lord Jesus- the Captain of your ship.

In this life, God designs our course and destination and we navigate toward the completion. He does not make the decisions for us but He can guide our decisions through his prompting. He will not drag us down to accomplish His will; He will only show us the vision and the way then He will give us the chance to follow and reap the reward of our obedience. If you we know the Lord, we will recognize His prompting and if we trust Him as the captain of our ship, we will obey.

Faith is neither complacent nor passive. It is not a passenger seat voyage. Faith requires action and participation for everything we do is an act of worshipful obedience.

In this life’s voyage, is Jesus the captain of your ship? Do you follow Him or you still navigate on your own?

Image: Christ Our Pilot by Warner Sallman

At the Crossroad- Proverbs 14.12

“There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Proverbs 14:12.

facing a crossroad

In an organizational training about road mapping, the speaker used in his slide show presentation an excerpt of the animation movie, Alice in Wonderland. It shows Alice trekking down a road. When she arrives at a crossroad, she could not decide which road to take to carry on her journey. At the side of the road, she sees a Cheshire cat sitting on a branch so she asks the cat:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” The cat answered.

“I don’t much care where.” She replied.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” The cat said.

If we do not know where we want to go, then it really would not matter which road to take and a haphazard choice could lead us into messy situations along the way. Solomon said, “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Proverbs 14:12.

Often, the one, which looks smooth and easy, attracts us. We would always prefer the short cut because we are not willing to wait but apparently, the longer route, which looks difficult at first, is the one that truly leads to the right destination.

The Israelites could have reached the Promised Land in eleven days had they gone through the land of the Philistines but God did not lead them that way because they might just return to Egypt so easily when they start to feel the difficulty of war. Instead, God led them through the wilderness of the Red Sea so that they could learn to depend on His power for victory. Where is God leading you?

At a crossroad experience, it is only fitting to take a short breather to pause and pray. We only need the wisdom of God that enables us to see the light that leads toward the right direction and let the Spirit of God direct our options.

Photo: “facing a crossroad” c/o –http://www.brownsgallery.co.uk/

A Sure Tomorrow- Proverbs 27:1

“Boast not yourself of tomorrow, for you know not what a day may bring forth” – Proverbs 27:1

In recent years, people have been attracted to pre-need plans like educational plans, pension plans, memorial plans, and some types of life and health insurance plans. The idea is to buy a future need today. Since you would use these services inevitably anytime in the future, it would be wiser to avail of them now, on installment basis while you have the extra money to spare instead of doubling your trouble when the time comes that you would need these services but you do not have the outright cash to pay for them.

The idea is logical and essentially sensible. It is somehow a display of good financial management skills by making investments for future use. It is being a good steward of earthly possessions. You spend some, save some, and invest some. It is also important to note that we earn to grow and not just to spend all our earnings.

However, with these investment options, it does not mean that we have secured our future. No amount of money can secure a good future. Trusting in riches will only bring disaster and tragedy. Solomon warns the people in his day “Boast not yourself of tomorrow, for you know not what a day may bring forth.” What has happened to Lehman Brothers and AIG is evidence that there is no guaranteed insurance for the future.

In this life, one thing is sure, there will be troubles, and you cannot avoid them. The good news is the Lord has overcome the world. Trust in Him with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. He will surely lead you toward the fullness of life.

As General Motors Goes Bankrupt- Proverbs 11:28

“He that trusts in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish like a branch.” –Proverbs 11:28

pontiac-solstice-coup

It is hard to imagine that a company as large as General Motors USA, manufacturer of Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, Buick, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, and Saab would succumb to financial crisis. It has been leading the car manufacturing industry in the USA for at least a hundred years, of course along with Ford USA.

According to an article from Associated Press, General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which consists of a plan to reduce the automaker to a sustainable size and give the majority ownership to the federal government, which is 60 percent of the new GM. The Canadian government would take 12.5 percent, with the United Auto Workers gets a 17.5 percent share and unsecured bondholders receiving 10 percent. However, the rehabilitation plan of the company would wipe out all existing GM shareholders… GM’s bankruptcy filing is the fourth largest in US history and the largest for an industrial company. The company said it has $172.81 billion in debt and $82.29 billion in assets… The GM’s downsizing would be limited to the following brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick. For the Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer and Saab operations, they would either sell or close them down. GM further said that it is finalizing a deal to sell Hummer, and they will announce the plans for Saturn later.

saturn-hummer

The article further stated that GM has employed 618,000 Americans in 1979, which is more than any other company has done. Now, they need to cut down labor and overhead costs to keep the company afloat, which will affect its 61,000 hourly workers and 27,000 white-collar employees.

If $82B in assets were not enough to secure a large company like GM, how much would it take to secure a large company that has been operating for almost a hundred years? If ever it is a case of mismanagement, maybe I have asked the wrong question. It should have been, who? However, the US government itself has not prevented a recession, who then can guarantee that even a good manager would not make a wrong decision somewhere?
A large company as GM could not secure itself for a time of trouble, how could you secure yourself from bankruptcy?

Photo from:
http://www.uncrate.com/men/cars/sports-cars/2009-pontiac-solstice-coupe/