Friday, March 23, 2007

Life as a cue sport

In cue sports a pool player hits a cue ball with a cue stick. The Cue ball in turn hits another ball called a billiard ball. There are many variations of the game. The most popular variation in the USA is called eight-ball. The goal of eight-ball, which is played with a full rack of fifteen balls and the cue ball, is to claim a suit (commonly stripes or solids in the US), pocket all of them, then legally pocket the 8 ball, while denying one's opponent opportunities to do the same with their suit, and without sinking the 8 ball early by accident. A good pool player knows with how much strength, at what angle, and in which direction to hit the cue ball, so that it hits the desired billiard ball and pocket it. If done well, this process can be repeated, because the balls will always react the same way on impact. In other words, although it is a game the process is pure physics. Also, since the balls acts according to the impact they receive, you can predict where the ball will go. The ball merely reacts according to the laws of physics. They live in the law. Being that these balls are mere objects, they cannot disobey these laws.

The cue ball cannot asses the situation of how hard it would be to hit the yellow ball. The cue ball cannot make choices. Once the cue ball is hit it will go in the direction and speed it was 'told' it should go – whether it hits the yellow ball or not. This is what the law says; this is what the ball does. Is the ball obedient? Not if you use the biblical definition. In the Bible obedience means to listen, to hear, to strive to capture every word and heed to it. The cue ball cannot hear, therefore it cannot obey. The ball is not therefore concerned about the law, it just 'exists' by the law.

God made us different than cue balls. He gave us free will. We know this from a reading of Genesis 3. This means we can choose to respond, instead of reacting. God also gave us the capacity to hear and listen. So when we hear the Word, we can choose to listen or not, and we can choose to heed or not. We do not have to react to any impulse or impact given to us. When the cue stick hits us, we can choose what to do – which direction to go, how fast, and whether to go at all. This is why the law is a concern to fallen human beings, because they can, and in fact do, break it. Human beings choose not to hear the word of God or not to heed it. They are by nature rebellious toward God and His Word.

What if you hit the cue ball and it does not move? What if ball is glued to the table? This means the ball obeys the glue and not the cue stick. Is this still different than us? Well, yes, the ball cannot glue itself; much less choose to do it. But, we can choose to 'glue' ourselves to the power of Sin, and therefore disobey God's Word. However, when we choose to 'glue' ourselves to the Righteousness of God, we will listen and heed to the word of God. As it says in Romans 6: 12-17,

Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Romans 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

So when we yield to the Holy Spirit, the Law of God is not a concern, because when we heed the Holy Spirit, we keep the law. After all, as God, the law describes His character. And, there is no difference between His thought, action and Word. Every thing He says is the word of God, and according to the law of God. Everything He will have us do, He will empower us to do, and will be in agreement with the law.

How does this apply to Ecclesiastes 11? Let us read verses 3 and 4,

Ecclesiastes 11: 3 If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.
Ecclesiastes 11: 4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

Everything that happens can be a cue stick hitting us to go in a different direction. When we abide in the Spirit and the Spirit in us, storms, whether literal or metaphorical, are not a concern either. We know that He also controls the rain, the high winds, and the falling trees. When we abide in Him and He in us these become mere challenges that we can overcome by God's grace. We can choose to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in the midst of the storm. Sometimes He will make us run for cover; sometimes He will allow us to get wet. It is His prerogative and for our sanctification. If God wants us to hit the yellow ball, He will open the way for us to do so. Our part is to listen carefully and do as He says.

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