When the Headlines Mention Crematoriums and Mass Graves

You consider yourself a fairly positive person.

You don’t load every text with smiley faces or wish everyone a nice day, but you’ve made it a habit to live by faith, to open your eyes to the good that God may be working through trials, to praise God in the storm.

But, when the evening news rolls footage of those who stagger, displaced, along the Syrian border,

when the headlines contain words like “crematoriums” and “mass graves,”

when weeping mothers appear on screen and you don’t need to hear the translation to understand their agony,

positive fades in the rear-view mirror of your soul.

These are Psalm 120 times. Times of distress, of lying lips and deceiving tongues, when even pew-sitters sense the urge to call upon the Lord. Continue Reading →

Green-Light Fever – Are You Afflicted?

There is a serious epidemic among Americans that has actually spread to other nations as we promote our lifestyle across the world.

This syndrome knows no boundaries and afflicts people from every walk of life. I’ve no doubt that many of you reading this blog have succumbed to this life-threatening ailment as I must confess that I am recovering from it myself. This affliction is so rampant in America; I hardly know how we will overcome its negative effects as they threaten the next generations like a lifestyle tsunami.

Green-Light Fever is a danger to each and every one of us and I believe that God’s people should be in the front-lines of the battle to eradicate it in our lifetime.

If you’ve never heard of Green-Light Fever, let me fill you in on its symptoms. Green-Light Fever drives its victims to live in a constant state of rush, busy-ness and agenda driven activity. Victims of Green-Light Fever have trouble listening to others unless they speak quickly or in easily consumable sound bites. Victims seldom hear more of world news than the headlines and form opinions in nano-seconds based on these ticker-bits of information.

Individuals suffering from Green-Light Fever work fast, eat fast, drive fast, live fast, pray fast and worship fast. They like their Bible study a verse at a time. They like small group sharing that is well-managed and ends early. They don’t have time for long conversations (isn’t that why people go to a therapist) or for long walks (can’t you do a speed workout on a treadmill while you’re on your cell phone listening to a podcast and watching the news?) or for slow cooked multi-course meals (let’s just pick up take-out and eat on the way, right?). These individuals are so crazed they must always be doing more than one thing at a time and grow restless if forced to sit still or wait.

In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald described Green-Light Fever this way: “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning– So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

We worship the great I Am but we live as though we serve the idol of “Tomorrow I Will Be – I’ve Just Got to Get There”. We often complain about God’s timing as if He were some aging grandfather whose pace makes us chuckle at his archaic ways instead of thinking that maybe – just maybe – if we are supposed to be growing closer to Him and becoming more like Him, maybe we need to heed the giant yellow light He keeps flashing at us.

In fact, I think that yellow light therapy is absolutely the answer for addressing Green-Light Fever. There was a time when TB patients went to sanitariums to lie all day in the sun as part of their treatment. Sunlight and rest were the cure. They didn’t have to do anything but allow the light to do its work.

The great yellow light for Christians is to slow down. If you don’t have time to spend alone with God, to read an entire passage of scripture, to really listen to another person, to sleep, to care for your physical needs, to love the people in your life then the cure is to rest in the yellow light of God’s love.

Psalm 127: 1-2 (NIV) says this: “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for the Lord grants sleep to those he loves.”

Christians should be counter cultural. We shouldn’t be adapting to the pace of a world driven by Green-Light Fever. We shouldn’t live like people driven by fear or in a race with death. We should be living like people who know we possess eternal life.

Are suffering from Green-Light Fever? Take the Yellow Light cure today and slow down. God is not in a hurry – why are you?

Need a moment now? Take a break and watch this laugh-out-loud yellow-light clip from the ’70’s/’80’s TV show Taxi. Breathe. Laugh. Smile. Sloooowwwwww dooooowwwwwwn.