Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ooooh, shiny!

One of the many signs that Quinn will most likely grow up to be a better person than I is that, without solicitation, he freely offered to share his Valentines candy, specifically his blow pops, insisting that we each have one on the way to school this morning.  At the age of four, I'm pretty sure I would have ninja kicked anyone for even suggesting I share my candy.  In fact, one of my only memories from being really little is, one by one, eating an entire pack of purple now-and-laters that was in my sister's purse, which happened to be sitting open on the couch.  I was so self-absorbed that my only regret at the time was that they weren't the pink now-and-laters because I liked those better.  Can you believe I was amazed that they knew I had pilfered the candy just by looking at me?  I even got my feelings hurt when they wouldn't believe my stubborn insistence that I had not stolen the candy, even after they pointed out that my mouth was purple.  Sheesh.  Family.

And yet, just like my four-year-olf self, I slip little bits of sin out of the tempting purse of Satan, relishing in a daydream or indulging in thinking badly about someone or, my personal favorite, having a massive pity party, complete with streamers and little party horns.  Sure, I can usually avoid the obviously bad sins, but those little bits of colorfully wrapped, artificially flavored, joy-promising tidbits so carefully placed in my day for the sole purpose of drawing me away from God?  Well, let's just say it's a good thing they don't turn my lips purple.

Or is it?

Because if I were forced to walk around with purple lips, I might learn to obey God more quickly, especially since I look ghastly in purple.

My prayer times have gone something like this:
Me: Waaa.
God: Be holy, as I am holy
Me: Waa.  I can't
God: I can
Me: I'm not you.
God: But you have me in you.
Me: But you haven't told me what to do.
God (rolling his eyes, I'm sure): Okay smarty pants, try this one on for size: Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.
Me:  umm... how about just the ones I don't like?
Yeah.  I'm kind of ready to slap myself too.

Last week was spiritual emphasis week at our school, and the speakers all centered around the theme of war.  And while the speakers were good, what really struck me was an illustration given by someone (I forget which particular person), that walking through this life without the Holy Spirit was like walking straight through a battlefield blindfolded.

And it occurred to me that illustration fits my emotional state perfectly.  Now don't get me wrong, I am a beloved daughter of God, and consequently, the Holy Spirit indwells me.  But man do I feel like I've thrown myself onto the battlefield completely unprepared and then wallowed in self-pity with the audacity to wonder how I got there.  And then there's 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 
So I have the word of God, which is his Spirit and, if you didn't notice, it has divine power to demolish strongholds, but I can't seem to find my freaking sword because my mind keeps popping up these shiny tidbits, and like a raccoon, I find myself thinking, "Oooohhh, shiny."  And off I go, getting dragged away by my own evil desires, as James is so kind to point out without really offering a "how-do-you-get-yourself-out-of-this-plan."  But instead of really repenting, I more often think, "man I'm so glad this doesn't turn my mouth purple!"

So I find myself in a vicious cycle, unwilling to pretend I'm holy enough to have it together but unable to turn to God and let him straighten out my mess but also unwilling to just go crazy and be straight up "purple-mouthed" sinful because I really do want to love God and turn to him.  I've been thinking of Jacob wrestling with God at Peniel, and praying that God would "wrench my hip," whatever that means, because I want to submit to him and be blessed but I find myself unable to do so.  But a very small voice inside me follows that prayer by asking him to do it figuratively, not literally, because a wrenched hip sounds like purple lips to me.  Seriously, voice?

Would somebody please slap me.


  1. You realize how funny you are??

  2. oh, Wendy. several one-framed cartoons popped into my mind visualizing this post. i like Kristi's question..... and, i hope you are getting to laugh sometimes with yourself as you write these things out and invite us to smile too.