My song today is ‘Lord I Hope This Day Is Good’. This song was written by Dave Hanner and recorded by American country music artist Don Williams. It was released in November 1981 and was Don Williams' twelfth Number 1 on the country chart.
The content of this song is about a person praying to the Lord that ‘their day be good’, which on the surface seems to be a reasonable thing for any individual to do. However, there is a danger in always praying for things on our own behalf, especially if we can obtain those very same things by exerting our own energies and effort in the right direction.
For example, let us say that a husband in a marriage refuses to do things for himself that he is perfectly able to do, but which he instead relies upon his wife doing for him? Anyone can see that by his action of counting on his wife’s goodwill, allied to his expectation that she will do those things he refuses to do for himself, her husband is abusing their relationship. In taking advantage of his wife’s good nature, he is being ‘lazy’. At best, he is being ‘inconsiderate’, and at worse, he is being downright ‘disrespectful’.
The very same can be argued to be true of mankind’s individual relationship with God. By making requests of God through prayer that He does something which is within your capability to do for yourself, you are being just as lazy, inconsiderate, and disrespectful to Him. While acknowledging that such things are within the power of the Lord to do, the implication of your entreaty is that the Lord should be expected to do on your behalf.
The Bible, according to (Mark 14:36) and again in (Luke 22:42) says that Jesus Christ was in agony while he was being crucified on the cross. We sense the intense conflict in Jesus' prayer, as his sweat contained great droplets of blood (Luke 22:44). Jesus asked His Father to remove the cup of suffering. Then he surrendered, saying, "Not my will, but yours be done.” By these words, Jesus Christ was acknowledging the basic human feeling that as ‘God the Son’ He was not immune to pain, but also acknowledging that as ‘God made man’, He had been born to suffer and die for mankind in the most agonising of human ways and that for the scriptures to be fulfilled, the process needed to be carried out without the intercession of ‘God the Father’ in Heaven. (use of the standard Roman Catholic concept of ‘Three in One’ and the terms ‘God the Father’, ‘God the Son’ and ‘God the Holy Spirit’).
Why not ask God to always intercede on our behalf? I hear you ask. Like the song, today says, “it would be so easy for you to do’. Consider this. God created us. God gave us the earth to live on, and the means to exist through endowing our planet with all manner and form of plant, vegetation, animal, geographical, oceanic, and sky life. To humans, God gave a brain, and the only reason He would have done this was for us to use it! By doing so, God illustrated that He did not wish to live our lives for us nor determine our ultimate actions or destinies. Mankind was endowed with ‘free will’; the power to work out and to decide what action one requires to do or have done on their behalf. ‘Free will’ implies having the power to do right or wrong, whether your actions are the most or least appropriate action you could take in any situation you are in. You are given through all voluntary action that you perform the option of choice, which signifies the morality of the flag you fly.
Hence, mankind has the ‘freedom’ to elect their choice of action, inaction, or reaction! We can decide our action as an individual, as a group, a club, a community, or a country, but whatever the ultimate action is that we are part of and consciously complicit in, we are responsible for; either in part or whole, and for what we do, and how we do it!
God does not wish mankind to war with each other or to engage in un-Christian, unhealthy, harmful, and hurtful acts, but there would have been no point in allowing humans ‘free will’ had He chosen to decide on our behalf what we do, when and how in any given situation. By giving mankind both a brain and a body that has the capability to respond appropriately, God provided mankind with the power to influence our own lives, and the lives of others for better or worse, and to remain the prime mover of our own thoughts and actions. Through ‘The Ten Commandments’ passed down to Moses, Jesus essentially gave us a bullet-point moral compass to accompany every man, woman, and child through their travel of life from cradle to grave. ‘The Ten Commandments’ are akin to any seafarer being provided with the rules of the sea and being given a map that charts the best course of travel to follow. However, there would be little purpose in God providing us with our own ship and means of transportation through our journey of life if He did not allow us to be the captain of our own vessel throughout the voyage, and the master of our own fate!
Consequently, (returning to the words of today’s song) granting somebody a ‘good day’ when they possess the means to make their day good by exercising their own brain, and by employing their own thoughts, feelings, and actions in a positive and coordinated direction, would be an abuse of the covenant (religious agreement and understanding) between the Creator and the created (mankind).
Acquiring a greater knowledge and understanding of mind/body functioning over the past fifty years has led me to believe that there is nothing that is either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ that thinking it so will not make it so! Who, what, when, where, or how in ‘good’ or ‘bad’ experiential terms is largely determined by ourselves in how we think, feel, and act. God gave us a brain and body to decide and to do. He gave us the means to emote our feelings and a heart to generate our emotions in the doing of our actions. And just for good measure, and as a means of constantly reminding His human creations how we can find the path that will take us from earth to heaven, the Lord provided every human being with the invisible attributes of a soul and a conscience to act as a moral compass as we travel through life from the cradle to the grave. The character we become will either sin against our fellow man or become a saving factor and a positive force for good in their lives and ours.
All beliefs are personal, and fewer beliefs are provable. Therefore, the only reason for the presence of any belief in anyone’s life is that it positively serves them and that is why the individual chooses to believe whatever it is they believe. We use our beliefs as a means of self-validation. Our beliefs give one a purpose for living and a justification for doing whatever we do. Our positive beliefs enable us to endure the sometimes unendurable experiences of mankind, and to live life wholesomely and in greater contentment or to experience a more negative existence through the absence of a healthy and positive belief system.
I believe that the Lord is good and that there are many occasions in the life of individuals and collective bodies across the world when God does intercede on our behalf, and in our positive interest, WHENEVER SUCH ACTION CANNOT BE PERFORMED BY ONESELF! I believe that having lived with several terminal body cancers over the past decade and having successfully sailed the stormy seas and kept afloat without sinking and drowning during the past 78 years, I am living evidence that God has intervened on my behalf many times, especially after the prayerful intercession of numerous others. And believe me, while it is often said that ‘God loves a sinner’, if God has interceded on my behalf to extend my existence longer than I merit at this side of the green sod, then there is absolutely no reason in either heaven or on earth why God will not intercede on behalf of others far worthier than me. And please do not think that strength alone will keep the pillars of the temple of life standing.
However strong an individual I might be, I would need the strength of ten biblical Samson’s to have endured the experiences of the past decade ‘unaided spiritually’ by a force that is greater than life itself. That is why I believe in God, and that is why I genuinely believe that God lives in us all!
Love and peace Bill xxx