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Monday, April 11, 2016

Seven Passages of Scripture

Seven passages at 6:00 in the morning, accompanied by a fully drained coffee cup that followed a not so hot bath (why we have no hot water at this unreasonable hour is beyond me), and a pretty serious attitude problem.  I am not a morning person.  I do not want to be awake right now.

Seven passages of Scripture, many that I have studied before, some that I have committed to memory, all that contain important truths for life, and one little phrase jumping off the page and smacking my lousy attitude in the face:

I Peter 5:2, "... not because you must, but because you are willing..." (NIV).

Well, fine.

If I may be candid for just a moment, there are quite a few things I am doing, lately, because I must.  And if there is anything I hate more than someone telling me I can't do something, it's someone telling me I have to.  For a long time, I have been thinking that I need to kick this way of being, but...

Wait for it...

I was wrong.

One of the incredible ironies of my life is that although I am fabulous at breaking rules, I am also a pretty consistent rule follower.  I know how to create controversy, but I hate conflict.  Crazy.  I know.   

Integrity matters to me a great deal, so chances are excellent that you will find me doing what's right much more often than not.  This is not a "yay me" moment.  Hold on.  It's coming...

There have actually been quite a few moments, lately, when I have found myself exclaiming, "I am so sick and tired of doing what's right!"  And I have meant it.  I am legitimately, and sometimes literally, sick and tired of it.  And that's my problem.

I need to be willing.

Now, there are all kinds of directions I could take this.  For example, I am not suggesting that if you're not willing to do the right thing, you should do the wrong thing.  I have tried this.  Take it from me, it doesn't end well.  In fact, it probably ends especially not well if you are a compulsive "do the right thing" kind of person.  You can try the whole do whatever you want thing, but you will probably find yourself sitting at a fast food place, sucking down fountain pop with a friend, and confessing, "I can't even sin right!"  This may or may not have happened to me.

No, don't go that route. 

I am also not suggesting that you "fake it until you make it".  The sad truth on this one is, you might fake it for a really long time and never make it.  This just makes everyone miserable.  I may also have personal experience with this.

You know... funny thing... I'm not even sure exactly what I am suggesting.  This may have something to do with the fact that I am also still not awake and a second cup of coffee is looking better every second.

But I think this is the thing.  We (and by we, I mostly mean I, but you can do this too, if you want) need to embrace the possibilities we have as opposed to always wishing for the ones we don't have.  This doesn't mean we stop setting goals or accept whatever is without any sort of challenge or fire in our eyes or give up on the future we hope for.  But I think we miss out on a lot of opportunities to be the people we were created to be, every day, if we are constantly thinking about becoming someone else.

Let me be the first to admit that I am not where I want to be, today.  And yet, I am where I am (that's a new one for everybody to hate).  Profound.  Or not.  Yeah, mostly not.  I have some pretty huge dreams, and I am in no way giving up, but there are certain things that simply cannot happen today.  And that's OK.  And I would imagine I will be much happier if I accept today for what it is and willingly make the most of it.

Psalm 25:9-10, "He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.  All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant" (NIV).

All the ways... even this one...

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