In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1 (NIV)
This past week has had a couple of events in it that have caused me to be thinking about who has the final word, the final say! There is a lot of power in having the last word, the deciding voice in a matter! As humans, it is our tendency to really want that power and ability at our fingertips… to be able to have the last word.
The big event(s) that happened this week was the second round final vote for a new President here in Guatemala. To my great pleasure Jimmy Morales, with whom I am acquainted, has won the position, pressure, and privilege to serve the next four year term (2016-2020) as President of Guatemala! While some might think (and I too initially thought) that he will have the final word, the historical political change and push for reform here in Guatemala over the past year causes me to tend to believe, as it should be, that the people here actually hold the final word, when it comes to how this government is being run!
With an unbelievable peace-filled determination much of the population of Guatemala rose up this past year in peaceful but persistent demonstrations in many courtyards, main plazas, and ‘city halls’ to protest and call for a reform from the deeply imbedded corruption of the government! This use of their ‘voice’ was really the final word that led to the removal of many very high ranking political/governmental figures; including the former President and Vice President!! Then just yesterday, Sunday, this nation held very peaceful elections, that led to Jimmy Morales being chosen as their next President!! Maybe the people’s voice, when peaceful and unified, does carry the power of change and decision making?!
Another event this week that made me think of ‘the final word’ was a conversation that I had with a native young lady from here in Guatemala. I have known this young lady for just two months now, but she has quickly become very openly and ‘deeply’ in love with me. As a prayerful man, though she is a beautiful woman with a very good heart, I have not received a call nor peace from God to consider nor pursue anything beyond friendship! While we were having our conversation I tried to gently explain this, and her immediate response to me was along the lines of, “Well, you are the one who has the final say!”
Without any judgement cast nor negativity to share, it does make me cringe a little that my experience has shown me that many Christians have been infected with this same mentality… that God has given us free will and that we ultimately have the final say! The same Bible that tells us in Galatians 5:1 that, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free,” also tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” Jesus showed us in the Garden of Gethsemane our right posture and understanding of who should have the final word! In Matthew 26:39 Jesus says, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Though He wanted to not have to suffer, He wanted even more for God to have the final word, final say.
I know that I have been bought at a price! I know that this life is not my own; not meant to be lived for my own selfish purposes and pursuits. Many times I find myself asking God to change His call for me… not to have to live as a missionary and servant in Guatemala but rather to have me in San Diego, where I can work, serve, minister, AND surf and be the true blooded beach bum that I am! Yet, following the example of the true Word, Final Word, Jesus Christ, I am learning to practice daily the art and discipline of letting God truly have the final word, the final say in my life… Yet not as I will, but as You will!! No matter where it takes me, dying to myself, sacrificing my own selfish desires, nothing will ever compare to what God has planned for each of us… if we will just give Him the final word, the final say!