It’s Sunday night. The last 12 hours have been filled with the exploration of a newfound terminology introduced by Kellyanne Conway called, “alternative facts.” I certainly am not writing to politic, but I must admit I was struck about the concept of alternative facts. Siri couldn’t explain it. The term was over googled, if that is such a thing. Finally, I counted on Merriam-Webster who weighed in with this, “A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality.” So, in other words, not even the dictionary was buying alternative facts. But then, I inquired with my higher power, and the Holy Spirit let me know, “Stephanie, you know what that is. It’s what you and many others offer when you are making excuses to something you simply don’t want to do.” Ouch. So, my banter at KC actually turned into my shame.
How many alternative facts have you given within the first month of the new year? Did you stick with the exercise plan? How’s your clean eating going? Are you reading the Word more? Praying more? Chasing after your dreams? How about trying something new? Or ceasing a bad habit? Or my favorite, reducing negativity in your life? Galatians 5:7 reads, “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” It’s easy to fill in the blank for who is the case of our trouble, rather than assuming ownership of grinding toward our triumph. God is the same 23 days into 2017 as he has been since the formation of the earth. Yet, we are expected, and often desire to change. That requires assuming a different alternative than the norm. If we want to get in shape, we’ve got to exercise and alter our eating. If we want to read more of the Word, we need to turn off the television or get off of our social media outlets. My mother is retired, and reads the Bible a couple of hours during the day. I’m not, but that’s no excuse for choosing not to read, even if its for 15 minutes. If we need to pray more, try doing something Minister Arlene Mitchell, suggests, by setting an alarm on your phone. If we need to chase our dreams, make a plan. Be on the lookout as many organizations, and even your friends are hosting vision board parties. You’ll have fun and leave with a visual representation of all you desire to accomplish during the year. And if you desire to try something new, in the words of Nike, just do it! Sometimes stopping something cold turkey is hard, so try weening yourself from the bad habit a little bit at a time. Finally, reducing negativity? Well, the only place I assume that won’t exist is heaven; in the interim, change your response to the negativity and you’ll find yourself less bothered and/or angered when you encounter it.
We must stop making excuses and handing God a bag of alternative facts. He knows very well the truth, actually before we even think it. That being the case, let us come to him with honesty and vulnerability, coupled with a deep desire to be different, to do different, to act different. Without our admittance of the truth, its difficult for us to be taken seriously, not only with each other, but with self and especially with God. Proverbs 21:3 reads, “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” What difference does it make if we ask the Lord to awaken us at 5am to go to the gym, if we spend the remainder of the day pigging out on everything in our presence? Sacrifice is limited without obedience. God will meet us at the point of our need, but we must ask.
God is the alternative to the alternative facts that we conjure up. His grace and mercy is sufficient for every situation we encounter and every desire we have to do better. Let us cease from fooling ourselves with that which is not helpful to our journey. Let us humble ourselves and go to God with truth. The streets say, game recognize game! So when we are not living our authentic self, God sees right through us. There’s no such thing as alternative facts. There is truth and there is lie. On the day of judgment, do we wish for our eternal life to be an alternative fact or the real deal? We must instead go to God with our whole heart with what Dragnet would say, “just the facts ma’am” (or sir).