I want to share an astounding truth – I apologize in advance:
- It’s not flattering,
- It’s too sensitive for making fun or otherwise mocking (okay, almost too sensitive),
- You’ve heard it before – from me,
- It’s embarrassing.
The truth is, I fail.
What’s more, I fail daily.
Most of the time I don’t even realize I’ve done it again until I am on my face; dirty, often bleeding, and usually crying. Worse yet, I can be angry, hostile and ugly, as if I’d been wronged. Shocking, I know.
I hope nobody’s keeping score of how often I bolt ahead without God or checking with him – wanting to impress Him; essentially trying to earn His love.
Even if it’s happening, in all that humiliation I get to see myself as He wants me to be.
Health advisory; take a deep breath now:
… God wants me to just be – not do everything I ever knew how to do so I can fool myself into thinking I’m helping Him fix broken people in a broken world and before nightfall wind up an exhausted, painful, discouraged and often malodorous lump on (usually) the floor.
I’m sure this was not the only instance all week, but it’s the one where I spent time and energy trying to fix a pipe that wasn’t actually broken yet – while my writing awaited my undivided attention. Does anyone else do simple, sometimes ridiculous tasks trying to avoid an obstacle? I didn’t think so.
My options that morning:
- “Look there, Lord. That drop of water on that pipe could indicate a problem somewhere down the road. What do You think about that?” (I wait patiently on an answer, of course),
- “Who knows when Brother can get around to looking into this? I am so good at juggling, it won’t be any trouble at all…”
Yeah, I went with option number two. Without mentioning the drip to God or thinking twice, I reasoned, “Oh, I can fix this, Yessiree, I see where this is going, what I can do. Heh heh. C’mon God, I’ve got this…” and off I went in a completely different direction…
Annnd again, before I even realize it’s happening I’ll have left the peace of my quiet place with God prematurely. I’ll bolt out, off balance and a mess before I start. Soon, feeling the gap widening, I’ll seek relief by working harder – cleaning something. Immediate gratification is today’s most common snare. Most of the best things in life require t-i-m-e.
Once I was done being all ugly over that big mistake, God showed me what I actually did – what I routinely do when I’m not entirely right with Him. Rather than simply sharing the observation with God, I began doing His job, minding His business and neglecting mine.
God didn’t let me go through all this because it’s cheap entertainment. He allows some things to happen if only to teach me to trust Him, to lean on Him and let Him do the work. I suspect He also appreciates a good laugh. But He never wanted me to go it alone and make myself feel prematurely old and tired.
He wants me to relax, let Him use me when He wants to, but mostly to see how He works all things out.
But what really melts my butter is how God is always waiting for me with open arms every time I realize I’ve spun off course – [sigh] yet again.
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
So, we all get stuck behind our noses – lost in our frame of reference, as if ours is the only possible perspective. Anyone denying they fail needs to read the Book of Romans. Go ahead. But be warned, if you’re like me you’ll want to argue Chapter 3, verse 23 before really thinking about what everyone/all means.
Frankly, I’m thankful for that grace. Instead of always falling short, God raises me up!
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” Romans 3:23, 24 (NLT)