By Canon S Sebastian Campbell
Every obstacle introduces a person to himself. How we respond to obstacles in our life is important.
The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6, 7) has been described as the gospel within the gospel. The good news exudes from it simply because it deals with the obvious obstacles in human existence. The following is true to every people in every era: anger, sexual immorality, revenge, divorce, enemies of all kinds. Not only are obstacles identified, but the appropriate response to their ultimate defeat is clearly projected.
The greatest example of an obstacle in the Bible is the giant Goliath who confronted and intimidated the armies of Israel, including the brothers of a young shepherd boy named David. We know that the brothers chose not to do anything about the obstacle before them, but David did. The difference between David and his brothers was this: the brothers looked at the obstacle and figured it was too big to hit, but David looked at the obstacle and figured it was too big to miss. The way you look at any obstacle in your life makes all the difference.
Moses looked at Pharaoh as an impossible obstacle. Through faith in God he was to have a sense of equipment. Maybe sometimes we must question the might of our God if in our human nature we are afraid, intimidated and altogether paralysed by our given obstacle at any given time. At the apex of his doubts, God asked Moses, "What is in your hands?" He continues to challenge us to look at what he has provided; it's in our hands waiting to be employed. With the provision, in his hands, he was to penetrate many seemed impossibilities. With the rod he was to create a highway of deliverance through the Red Sea. It was used to split a rock and cause drinking water to rush forth. With it he opened the pantries of heaven and caused food to be supplied to a starving people.
The scenario of Moses is most appropriate to us Bahamians whose colonial mindset have us always craving for foreign imports. In faith we know that God supplies our every need with provision already provided. Our faith says, "Open your hands and use your supplies." The call in our lives is not a copy. God wants us to be original. Our ultimate liberation as a people is hampered by our refusal to struggle through colonial obstacles that have made us British so that we can become fully and truly Bahamians. Our liberation beckons us to change our way of thinking; to get rid of the colonial wigs and gowns; to get rid of the swearing allegiance to a foreign monarch; to rid ourselves of "Lordships" even in the church. God made us unique. To copy others is to cheat yourself out of the fullness of what God has called you to be and to do. Tap into the originality and creative genius of God in your life.
The irony of it all is while so many of our older generation imitate the British way of life the younger generation is busy imitating fringe cultural groups: Reggae music, American fast food, dress and the likes. Everyone is imitating. Where is our own identity? These cultural obstacles must be confronted. They are intimidating and most unnecessary.
Let each new obstacle force you to go to the next level in God. No obstacle is unconquearable and none are to leave you the way it found you. You will either be better or you will be worse as a result of that confrontation. In a general sense, obstacles have a limited life span. Many times there are things we worried about last year that we can't even remember today. One of the biggest lies of the devil is that things will not change, that they will not pass. Mediocre people tend to be tamed and subdued by obstacles, but great leaders always rise above them. We can be like the man, who, when asked what helped him overcome the obstacles of life responded: "The other obstacles." We should be like a kite that rises against the wind, causing it to mount higher and higher.
Every problem has a soft spot; there is an answer. Since many of the obstacles we face are money related the correct perspective is to know that if a problem can be solved with a cheque book "it's really not an obstacle; it's an expense." Someone has said that obstacles are what we see when we take our eyes of the goal. Keep your eyes on the goal and remember that you are not alone in your struggle, for "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28). Really, in times of adversity you don't have an obstacle to deal with, you have a choice to make. In the midst of unbelievable circumstances, believe!