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What Next

Jesus tells this story about these two guys. They both build houses. They both get caught in a hurricane. One of these houses is built on solid rock, so it survives the storm. The other guy’s house is not so lucky. It falls to the ground in a great, big crash.

My apologies if this story is coming to you too soon after Florence and Michael.

That is the thing about storms; they are indiscriminant. The same storm smashes against the wise and the fool just the same. Two people. They both build a life (a house). They both face tough circumstances.

So what is the difference? Well, it is not Jesus or even their ears. Jesus says that they both hear his words. They both receive the truth. The difference comes in what they do with the truth. One “puts it into practice;” the other does not.

You hear that? It’s not how much truth you know, not how much catechism you’ve memorized, not how sound your doctrine is that’s going to get your through life. It’s what you do with it. It’s how you practice it.

So I’ve been practicing this week. I went back and read pieces of the rest of Jesus’ talk. The part where he says not to judge people, the part where he say not to worry or to lust or to be angry or to take credit for stuff, and how he says to love your enemies and turn the other cheek – and I failed.

I failed big time.

You know what I learned this week? It’s hard to put the words of Jesus into practice.

No wonder my life so often feels like it is on shaky ground.

So what do you do?

What do you do when you find it impossible to practice the words of Jesus?

Well first of all, remember this: Jesus did.

Jesus perfectly did all this stuff.

You know what that means? He didn’t need a savior.

Instead, he became one. He did for you what you could not do for yourself.

So what do you do next after you remember that?

You worship.

You straight-up-knees-on-the-ground-flat-on-your-face-run-around-dancing-raise- up-your-hands-however-you-feel-like-doing-it worship him.

Jesus saved my sorry butt. That is why I worship him. That is why I rest in him. That is why I practice:

Not because practice make perfect – but because practice brings me closer to the perfect one.

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Ned Erickson

Ned is the Founder and Executive Director of the Winston-Salem Fellows, a non-profit dedicated to equipping people to live seamless lives as they grow into the men and women they were created to be. He is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed novel Clay. He, his wife, two children, dogs, rabbit, guinea pig, turtle, and chickens live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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