Monday, October 12, 2009

"What in the TAR-nation?"

Someone once told me the Bible was the cheapest book you can ever buy because every time you read it, it’s a new story. And it’s true, I learn something new every single time I sit down with it.

This Sunday, my husband and I attended a new adult faith class at the church we have been attending. It was our first time going to Sunday school in YEARS… and it was our son’s very first time ever. I’m happy to say, little Brett had a great time and learned about being nice to everyone. Hopefully that will stick! As for Ryan and I, we took a wild tricycle ride (literally, we watched crazy Pastor Rossow ride a tricycle down the center of the room) through 4 major stories in Genesis. First, we discussed Adam, the sneaky-lying-satan-serpent and Eve. Second, I realized how quickly after creation we humans screwed the world up by discussing Cain and Abel. Next was God’s painful decision to wipe “all evil, all the time” away with the Flood. We talked about the rainbow; God’s covenant promise to never ever do that again. He allowed us to start over… and promised that we needn’t be afraid. He told us to be fruitful and multiply and spread out all over the land. We were lucky, right? To have a chance to start over… to have a promise from the Big Guy that He would never flood us again. A sigh of relieve went through the land as we respectfully, graciously, glad-to-be-alive, quickly, obediently went about following God’s direct orders to a tee. Right???

Which brings us to the 4th story... I’m literally rolling on the floor laughing…. Ha ha ha!!! God told us to be fruitful and multiply and spread ourselves through-out the lands. So what did we do? We decided to build the Tower of Babel. That’s right… we decided to build a huge tower so we could all stay together… so we could all fit in one nice, neat, little area. The tower would reach higher and higher and higher… so we could keep an eye on God (wink wink). Yep… spreading throughout the land was overrated. We had a way better plan than God had and we needed to stick together. We needed to stay the same… no change for us! No discomfort needed… same old, same old was just perfect! So there went our respectful, obedience immediately.

As if our defiance weren’t enough, we lobed a big loogie at God as we built this tower of insubordination. What was that loogie? I’m so glad you asked… tar. Yep that’s right, tar. We built the danged tower with tar. Now why would that be a loogie to God??? I’m glad you asked… well, tar was one of the only things we had back in those days that was… waterproof. And why would we want a tower that was waterproof? Glad you asked… could it be… perhaps… we didn't TRUST God’s promise not to flood us again???? Could it be we DOUBTED God’s covenant???? Oh man. How does He put up with us??? (Grace)

As always, God gets us to do what He wants us to do no matter how much we kick and scream. With the snap of His fingers, the tower was gone (tar and all) and we were spread out over the lands with different languages to boot. I had never realized the significance of the tar until yesterday and it got me thinking. How many times in my own life do I try to “waterproof” my tower of disobedience?

The Lord tells me He loves me… and I need not worry (Matthew 6:25-34) yet everyday I find something to worry about. Today I’m sitting here worrying about why some of the women in one of my classes don’t seem to like me very much. It’s like I think my worry will make them like me or will help me change the situation. The truth is, God made me and not everyone is going to like me. God knows who I’m supposed to be close to. So why don't I trust Him?

The Lord says, do not judge (Luke 6:37-42) because He is the one and only judge. Yet there I stand, watching life take place around me as women I see continue affairs, men I am acquainted with sneak peeks at porn and others over-consume alcohol in an effort to try to “get away.” I’m not gonna lie… I judge, even when I don’t mean to. Do I really want to be judged by the measure with which I judge others???

The Lord tells me of the importance of reserving a special time of day to listen and be devoted to Him (Psalm 46:10)… yet it is so easy to choose to do something else instead like… watch Judge Judy or fool around on Facebook for hours looking at pictures of people I don’t even know. I know it's so rewarding to spend that time with Him, so why am I so easily distracted?

And what of this really difficult one… the Lord tells us we should share our troubles and sins with others so that we can be healed (James 5:16). Why is it that we think we have to pretend to be perfect for others? Why do we think we have to have it all together to be in a better position to help others? I was really surprised to hear that my openness about my alcoholism (and other issues) may lead others in need to think that I am not qualified to be a helping hand because I don’t “have it all together.” I only have one thing to say about that… we are all unqualified in some way. If you are in need and you finally find that person who says they have it all together so they can help you… you’ll be working with a liar. Jesus is the only exception. Interestingly enough, Jesus is also the only answer.

Yep, I use tar to build my tower just incase God isn’t gonna get it right. I always seem to have a backup plan, which is usually me attempting to take control of things and resting on my own powers instead of trusting God. Maybe one day I’ll remember that I don’t need a backup plan because God’s covenant is real and true. God doesn’t tell lies… God doesn’t play games. He just keeps giving us chance after chance after chance. He loves us unconditionally. He forgives us with no strings attached. He forgets the past and lets us start fresh. He is true to His word always. Although I’m pretty sure He is up there with a grin on His face as He shakes His head saying “What in the TAR-nation are you crazy people doing now?”

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