Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Cant? Or Won't?

Driving home tonight, completely beat and rather wobbily, I could only think of how nice it would be to live less than twenty minutes from Katy. Fulshear really isn't in the middle of nowhere, but often times a twenty minute drive feels that way, especially when you are exhausted. Most of this, admittedly, is my own fault but that realization never improves my attitude and in fact, it typically makes it worse. This of course, was my emotional state when I got behind a five belower. Never heard of one of those? It's a person who insists on driving five below the speed limit when there is no traffic in sight and nothing between them and the open road but some obvious rancor towards you, the exhausted person behind them (you see the problem with my attitude emerging already -- clearly I am the center of the universe and everyone's minds... insert eye roll here___). So I get stuck behind this five belower on a one way road with little opportunity to pass them when a thought enters my mind in the form of a "prayer". It goes something like "Lord, please speed them up, I can't handle this."

Really? Can't handle it? Now in a way, there is some theological truth to this statement. Left to myself, with no outside help, I can't choose to put up with a horrific (read minor) annoyance, and am a slave to my tired emotions. But this, of course, is not the case. As a child of God trusting in the finished work of Christ on my behalf (and on behalf of all those He loves) I am not left to myself. I have a power established inside of me that enables me to do that which my sinful nature would never choose to do! Therefore, when I decide to react badly, sinfully to a certain situation, it isn't that I couldn't act in the right way, it's that I wouldn't. I need to do what Paul encourages in Philippians 1:12-14 and to "work out [my] own salvation in fear and trembling, for it is God who works in [us], both to will and to work for His good pleasure."

It's an odd tension, knowing both that God is the One willing us to do good and that it is our responsibility to work, but it is there very clearly in scripture. Maybe it is a little like eating good food. The nutrients strengthen you to do the work, but if you don't actually get up and run you will never accomplish your goal. All analogies break down at a point but you understand my meaning. Pray for the strength to obey, then go an do it whether you understand it or not.

"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and how inscrutable His ways! 'For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid?' For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen." Romans 11:33-36

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you read the chapter on patience? Good stuff.
Mrs. W