So be strong and courageous!  Joshua 1:18b nlt


I recently decided to try my hand at learning code.  I found a free program online that would allow me to learn basic computer programming ideas at the pace of a fourth grader.  It a really awesome experience for me because so many of the actions and functions (groups of actions) involved in programming can correlate to life.  The one I seem to keep experiencing in my life is called a “loop.”  A loop is a command for a certain action to continue until an expressed element changes.  For example, you could program your mouse character to continue walking forward on the path UNTIL it bumps into a wedge of cheese.  As soon as it bumps into the cheese, the loop ends.
I have so many “loops” carved into my brain and I have no idea how they got there.  For example (all hypothetical, of course)…
  • The I Am Right loop: The I Am Right loop makes me continue the argument I am having with my husband UNTIL he realizes I am right.
  • The I Must Be Perfect loop: I must follow my New Year’s Resolution perfectly UNTIL I make one mistake.  (Then I do not follow it at all until I wake up the next morning – then loop restarts.)
  • The Likeability loop: I carry value as a human being UNTIL someone doesn’t like me.
The Israelites got stuck in a loop, too.  They were stuck looping in the wilderness for 40 years because they refused to trust God and enter the Promised Land when he told them to.  They responded to the voice of fear instead of faith and the consequence was severe.
  • The Wilderness loop: Wander in desert wilderness UNTIL everyone (minus Caleb and Joshua) 20 years old or older dies.
Finally, the time had come for the second chance.  God gave the command to go claim their Promised Land.  This new generation had learned well from their parents’ mistakes and chose to trust God.  The first tribes summoned by Joshua (the new leader) responded with absolute confidence:

‘They answered Joshua, “We will do whatever you command us, and we will go wherever you send us.  We will obey you just as we obeyed Moses.  And may the LORD your God be with you as he was with Moses.  Anyone who rebels against your word and does not obey your every command will be put to death.  So be strong and courageous!”‘  (Joshua 1:16 nlt)

This is the best possible response to the gift of a second chance.  They move forward in strength and courage to claim the land promised to them so long ago with God’s blessing.  This sounds like a totally different kind of loop.  I’m going to call this one The Faith loop: In strength and courage, we boldly trust God and follow him UNTIL death.

When that loop ends, I get to meet the “programmer” of the universe.

Dear Lord, help me to live my life in rhythms of service to you.  Help me to stop holding back; I want to stop getting stuck in loops of lies.  I ask you to give me wisdom; align my thoughts, words and actions to your will.  Amen.

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About messyworship

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I believe that you can bump into God outside of a Sunday morning church service. That is what Messy Worship is: a written meditation with an authentic, transparent take on the Bible's application to today's world. This is where I challenge myself to blurr the line between "life" and "worship" so much that the line disappears a little more each day. I hope, by sharing what I learn, the idea of a seamless life of worship becomes contagious.

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  1. Author Image

    40 years, huh? That’s a really, really long time to be stubborn and not trust! How long will “this” take do you think? What do you think is God’s plan in all of this?

    Jennifer SW / Reply
  2. Author Image

    LOVE your I Am Right loop. 😀 😀 I mean I *ahem* HYPOTHETICALLY love your I Am Right loop. 😉

    SAHM I Am / Reply
  3. Author Image

    On a more serious note, though, I love how “to the point” you are with your “aha!” applications of things. You remind me of Terri Brady, who I want to be when I grow up 🙂 terribradyblog.com

    SAHM I Am / Reply
  4. Author Image

    That voice of fear can be very commanding at times. Good stuff Emily!

    Nick Kaun / Reply

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