Thursday, May 17, 2007

Scary and Sensational - Sheep Doodie Clean-up.

Do you ever feel like God has taken you seriously?

I think we all tend to try to bargain with God. Right? Like we will give Him more time, money, heart -- if He’ll just ___________________________________________________
(fill in the blank i.e. send more money, provide a better job or more mature fruit of the Spirit).

But the bargains, and correct me if I’m wrong in your situation, usually have some serious small print that we are hoping God overlooks.

Bottom line, I give Him additional hoops to jump through. I think we usually call this dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. And if He doesn’t jump the hoops in the proper sequential plan or within the time/space continuum, or follow Robert’s Rules of Order, then we can drop our end of the deal.

Sometimes I get really sick of myself. The self part of me.

I kind of like the part that God has remodeled, but frankly, the Kelly in me gets a little old.

But since I know I can’t be good or look at all like Jesus without serious help from above, I will often tell God I’d really like Him to dig for some stubborn Kelly-roots or burn off some Poison Ivy. Sometimes, I actually mean it.

So a few Sunday's ago, I cried through communion. After a lesson on forgiveness and some really great songs, the pastor told us to take communion only when we were at “peace with God” instead of all together in a group as usual.

In the quiet time that followed, God flipped through a few pages of unresolved issues in my life.

Did you know that we sometimes have to forgive people for being human and imperfect?

I didn’t think about that until God reminded me of the requests I’ve tossed at Him. The ones where I’d like to get over myself, and actually accomplish something of meaning and value with this life I’ve been given.

I’d like to think I forgive people easily. I say the words. That’s got to be worth something, right?

But sitting there, staring at my tiny cup full of burgundy liquid that is representative of Christ’s blood – the most powerful substance on earth – I realized that I held people to a standard that I can’t keep.

I want the “mature” people that go to my church to actually be “mature.” Reasonable, isn’t it?

I expect the long-term Christians to play well with others and to share.

I expect newbies to want to grow.

I hope – strongly – that the deceived actually want to believe Jesus words of truth rather than Satan’s words of death.

I really do think these are great goals. But I take it a step further and take it upon myself and either make it a burden when they don’t behave as I wish they would, or I get discouraged and let the enemy steal bricks from my foundation of faith.

I forget that God lets people wander in the wilderness because it teaches them and changes them.

He’ll also allow someone to ram over and over again into a brick wall should they choose to do so because they are determined that the rules don’t apply to them.

Noah built a boat on dry land. Abraham had to believe but not see God’s promise until he turned 100, thirteen years after Abraham and Sarah tried to help God out with said promise. David waited years for the whole kingdom of Israel.

And why did these events take so long? Because God doesn’t behave the way I expect Him to behave.

So I chose to forgive a whole bunch of sheep for acting like sheep, and decided to let God shepherd them, since He knows what He’s doing.

Sheep – would you forgive me for being a dumb-baa and tracking sheep doodie on your carpets?