Thursday, April 9, 2009

It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings

It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings is a saying, essentially meaning that one shouldn't assume the outcome of some activity (frequently a sports game) until it has actually finished. It compares to "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched." I think I've heard somewhere, "The fight's not over till the last bell."

Never give up. Never, never, never give up.

The expression, “until the fat lady sings” gives us a sense of hope when we are behind or losing a contest.

And the contests in which we participate in life teach us valuable lessons about life itself. A particular car may lead the Nascar race the whole way, but have a wreck or lose a tire or run out of gas right at the end and lose the contest. Who would of thought Romo would fumble the extra point snap that would of won the game a couple of years ago? How many times have I seen my opponent miss an easy 8 ball shot? Remember Staubach’s now famous “hail Mary” pass? Though one may appear to be the obvious winner, it doesn’t always work out that way.

People get down on their luck, things don’t go the way they expected or hoped, but they keep working and doing their best, and then when they least expected it, something gives. Something happens and then there it is. Maybe after many tries, or many years, or many disappointments and lots of pep talks to yourself, it happens, and that for which you have been working, comes true. Graduating from college is one thing, but making use of that education is another. Sometimes it is the one who didn’t have the opportunity of a college education that finds the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

God has a purpose and a calling for us. It may not be clear yet what that purpose is. All of us seek those mountaintop experiences. We all want to be blessed. We sometimes feel we deserve God’s blessings. We feel life hasn’t been fair because someone else we know has blessings that we don’t have. But maybe, just maybe, we have to learn to be a blessing for someone else.

Listen to God’s word:Matt. 19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

Matt 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Jesus was traveling with his chosen 12 apostles and they began arguing among themselves about which of them was the greatest. Jesus said to them, (Mark 9: 30 -35) If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

Remember the story of Jesus insisting he wash the disciples feet and Peter refusing to let Jesus wash his feet. (John 13: 1-16) It was a time in which they could not conceive of washing each other’s feet. Foot washing was something reserved for the lowest of servants. They would argue about who was the greatest among themselves, an attitude that precluded them stooping to wash each other’s feet. But Jesus took a towel and washed his disciples feet. They were shocked. Jesus was trying to teach them a lesson about selfless service, a lesson followed up with his death on the cross.

Learning to be a blessing for others, is a hard lesson to learn. It goes against everything we have ever been taught. We are pushed to be the best, to be the winner, to be the top gun. “He who dies with the most toys wins,” I have heard it said. So much so that we feel like a big ole loser if we haven’t been able to keep up with the Jones or with our friends. We may not have the prestige, the money, or the status of someone else, but we just may have something much better. We have humility, we have compassion, we have patience.
Remember we are told, But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:4

The feet washing Jesus did for his disciples was at its root an act of love. Christ made it clear he would not expect anything of us he was not willing to do himself. We are to love each other. We are to love each other just as he has loved us. And being a blessing for others involves acts of love. It may mean lending a helping hand when needed, or just being there, or having the right words to say when they need to hear them. It may mean waiting on them, or lending money or having a strong shoulder for them to lean on. It could mean so many different things. But you will know it. You will recognize it. The love you have in your heart will lead you to what you need to do.

I remember Paul Simon sang, “one mans ceiling is another mans floor.” And I have lived long enough to see that people’s positions in life changes. In the news just recently we saw one who was a millionaire-billionaire one day, and in jail the next and had lost everything. Affluence today but bankrupt tomorrow. You have seen it too. So you know, things can change. They usually do. The hard times you are having today can turn around and be much better later on.

But you can take confidence and have contentment and have full assurance that Gods purpose for you and your life is unfolding according to plan and it will all work out, maybe not like we first thought or hoped it would, or imagined it might, but it will do so according to God’s will for our life. Believe me when I say, “it ain’t over till the fat lady sings.”

God bless….ric justiss