Monday, January 10, 2011

Putting no confidence in the flesh: a lesson from a homeless guy who got a second chance

By now, you've probably seen or at least heard about the homeless guy with the golden voice, Ted Williams.  He was discovered on a street corner by a reporter from the Columbus Dispatch in Ohio.

Since then, he's been offered jobs all over the country for radio and voice over work.  From panhandling to YouTube sensation with millions of hits and too many requests for interviews, job opportunities, and autographs.  This homeless guy has a handler who's helping him deal with it all.  What a great story.

I watched his interview with the Today Show.  They brought up his past which is littered with alcohol, cocaine, crack, theft, jail time, and so on.  He spoke about how he's been clean for 12 months now (of which he's really proud - and good for him).  Apparently it's his sponsor from the recovery program that's functioning as his handler right now.

In the Today Show interview (about the 5:00 mark), Matt Lauer asked him, appropriately, about if he thought he could handle the incoming requests and instant fame.  What would be the difference this time and how would he manage not running back to the bottle or the crack pipe?  Good question.  I thought he killed the answer.

He said, in essence, that he realizes that everything he has in life is from God and he'd never acknowledged that before.  Romans 1 anyone?  Because we don't acknowledge God, He turns us over to our desires and depravity.

What I connected this morning from Philippians 3 is the role of acknowledgement and sanctification.  It's not just preventing us from being turned over to our desires and depravity, it's actually a positive step toward holiness.  I think acknowledgement of God as the One who gives us everything is the first step in "putting no confidence in the flesh."  What better step in the war against the sin-stained, organized power  within me than to acknowledge that I'm not taking breath without His mercy.  I didn't get up with a friend and work out at the YMCA today without His kindness.  I didn't get to feed my kids breakfast this morning without His provision.  I don't get to kiss my wife and enjoy it without His goodness.  I don't get to read about Him in the Bible without His revelation.  And all of this is just since 5am this morning. Acknowledgement of God, as God, aligns me with how the universe works and wars against self-reliance.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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