Land of the Bland

In making our home in the land of the bland, we begin settling in many ways.

We settle for:

. . . others doing the work.

. . . simple answers to complicated issues.

. . . shallow relationships.

. . . broad and bruising words.

. . . small and stunted dreams.

Of course, this list could go on and on, but I’m getting depressed and you’re getting bored. How about one more that sums them all up?

We settle for so much less of Jesus.

Who he is and what he still wants to do for us, in us, and through us. That’s it. Now we’re getting somewhere.

So, what’s the use of trying in this world gone bad? It might be a fool’s errand except for the possibility of supernatural help. Why wouldn’t we expect such help?

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” 

The rest of the story rests on this truth. Ah, yes, this is a worldview, a way of perceiving reality that informs everything. And from the beginning, this loving, powerful, artistic, completely-in-control God was in the midst of his creation, interacting with us creatures, who somehow bear his image.

Of course, the choice to settle for so much less was first made in Genesis 3. From then on, our rebellion has stained every page of the story, and the effects are as obvious as they’ve ever been.

Again, no breaking news here. And yet, this is not the end of that story.

From the heartbreak of our first parents’ first bad decision until the very moment you’re reading this sentence, God has not given up on us or this world he once considered “very good.” This is the foundation on which the rest of this book rests. He is still at work in ways we can see and celebrate in our next breath. He is also at work in ways we cannot fully comprehend.

Not yet. But oh, what our good and gracious God will reveal on that day which will never know the night.

Injustice and evil, pain and loss will not have the final word.

Until then, we who live in the early morning—when dawn has only begun to push the darkness away—will live as children of the dawn. We trust our King and take the next step.

This is not merely a lament of all that is going wrong and just how wrongly we are doing them. In fact, it’s often the opposite: a reminder of what God is still doing in us, around us, and in spite of us—but often through us. At least what he could yet do through us.

Which brings us to the decision each of us makes daily, hourly, moment-by-moment:

Will we settle for less?

Or will we choose God’s glorious way?

An adapted excerpt from the upcoming book, Never Settle, releasing September 2020.


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  • Konie Farnham

    Thank you. Encouraging and re-centering.

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