Soma leaders on the gospel, community and mission in the everyday…
I had the day off! That should be a glorious statement and I fully intended on the day satisfying all my comfort idols. But I also hoped that the day would bring me the opportunity to bring fun to my kids. I wanted to go play with them. I wanted to give them good. My wife and I had brainstormed a few options and this is how the day rolled out.
One by one over a period of about 30 minutes, the kids meander downstairs and roll into our arms not fully awake, but by the third one, they were pushing and kicking, trying to be "the one" in our arms and throwing fits if they were on the side. This moved us into food mode where we decided to feed them which went okay except for the incessant "I want to watch a show" spoken in a whiney high pitched voice followed back by the overly too calm, "Not today. We are going to take a break from the screen." At that statement our youngest falls to the floor, rolls back and forth and makes noises like a large balloon releasing air through a small passage.
After this stage came the mean stage. There are five kids between the ages of 4 and 8 in the house right now and if they want to be mean, oh, they can get under each other's skin. Pick, pick, tattle, tattle, scream, hit, fall to the floor. Parents run to situation, pour water on it, and then turn around and another situation ensues. Pick, pick, tattle, tattle, scream, hit fall to the floor. Repeat.
So my wife and I decide to do a "choose your own adventure" with our three kids and tell them to get ready to go out. "This is going to be fun!" we say. Let's get ready and go. Scream, fit, hurt one another, "I am never going!" and a generally violent protest ensues. We really must read more about Gandi in our house.
20 minutes of forcing them to get ready and then we begin our trip of choices. Each child takes a choice between two things and we go do one of those two things, such as sledding, the mall playground, or the YMCA, and such. At each choice by each child the other two throw fits and complain and whine. It was just a tough morning. All the good things we wanted to give them were sabotaged by some lesser thing they were not getting.
I tell you this story because I want to ask, how much is this you and me? Our good Father wants to give us good gifts but we have our hearts set on something that would never satisfy. Our good Father wants to give experience and love and intimacy but we want a TV screen of fake experience and fake love and fake friendship.
In our current series of flesh vs Spirit, Steve has worded the questions as follows:
How do we sabotage ourselves?
What does our flesh want us to pay attention to? What does the Spirit want us to experience instead?
And my favorite...You don't have to keep looking at that anymore.
The real beauty of what I see and hear about Romans 8 is that God does all the work except for our honest plea. "Oh God come rescue me. I have yet again chosen less and I know You are more. Show me the path to life and walk it for me. God, the body is dead because of sin but Your Spirit is life. Give to me life and show me Yourself. I choose You."
Let's admit the ways we sabotage the great gifts of God the Father and boldly step into the grace that God offers, begging for the Spirit to come and be the life that we obviously can't be. We sabotage his intimacy, his acceptance, his fun, and his meaningful work. It is true, we don't have to keep looking at that anymore if we see that in Jesus we have been redeemed to look at something greater. If we confess our need for a Jesus to rescue us from that lesser thing and then, here is the key, we have to begin to look to Him, the Spirit and that which He is doing. Confess how we sabotage with others, accept grace and forgiveness, and move to the Spirit and His work and Presence. And this is life! He can plan a much greater choose your own adventure then I can.
My hope is to encourage you to boldness in your openness and hope that there is something greater.