Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Broken Glass And Cigarette Butts

Or, God's Ways Of Teaching Us Lessons
When Number One Daughter was a toddler, this would have been early 1987, we were living in Bedford, Texas, between Dallas and Fort Worth.

We had moved there in 1986 so that I could take a job with Delta Airlines.

Number One Daughter had some problems that prevented her from walking until she was about 14 months old. (Why, is long story, maybe for another post) So when she did start walking she surely made up for lost time.

And it was a joy to see her walk, especially in light of what we had been through with her.

She didn't like to be held that much after she could walk and so we let her walk. She wanted to walk, by golly, she had been carried enough!

At this time I worked early mornings and would pick Number One Daughter up from the daycare in the early afternoon. We would go to our apartment, take our stuff inside and head out for a walk.

The goal of the walk, from my perspective, was to go to the communal mail thingy for the apartment complex and get our mail.

Number One Daughter's goal was to explore.

Working mostly at odds with one another, we eventually met both goals.

One day as we headed along the sidewalk, Number One Daughter saw and immediately headed off the sidewalk straight to some broken green glass, like a broken sprite bottle or something. She picked up a big piece and I made her throw it back down. She was bumming because, hey, it was pretty.

We got back on the sidewalk and didn't get too far before she stopped and picked up a cigarette butt. Yuck! Put it down!

Yuck! she repeated, throwing it down.

We headed on, and a few yards from the mail area I had an epiphany.

That's just how God is with us. We call ourselves Christians, and for the most part do our best to follow in Jesus' footsteps as we go along life's path. But we invariably end up turning one way or another off the path to pick up the adult equivalent of pretty broken glass and cigarette butts.

God's trying to keep us 'on the path' and we're off trying to pick up cigarette butts and bottle caps and junk, and in general, do stuff that has no part in a Christian's life. To do stuff that we know is wrong. To do stuff that we know can only hurt us. To see how close to 'living like the world' we can and still think of ourselves as Christian.

There is absolutely no way that I can convey in words here just how forceful the impact of this revelation was to me that day. My head was spinning with the thoughts of it all and don't remember the trip back to the apartment with the mail.

This was the difference between 'head knowledge' and 'heart knowledge.' One is just knowledge, the other is WISDOM.

But I sure remember the lesson I learned that day. I loved and still love Number One Daughter, but as her father, I needed to show her the way and show her the dangers of getting off the sidewalk and getting into things that were harmful to her.

That's what the Bible is all about, people. It's our revelation from God to us about His Son Jesus. Its words contain the blueprint for the type of life we should be living and if we read, study, follow, and live by this Word, we can eventually get to our ultimate goal.

Eternity in God's presence.

How are you doing right now? Are you on the path or are you standing there with your hands full of garbage?

Matthew 7:13-14 (KJV) says, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

John 10:10 (KJV) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.


Emily said...

I think this is the best post I've read so far here, very hard hitting. It was to me at least. I know I get my hands full of garbage every so often...

"To see how close to 'living like the world' we can and still think of ourselves as Christian."

It's hard as a teen grasping the concept when God calls us out of the world, to be separate and holy. Yet that is what He says and that might be one of the hardest parts of following God for me- being separate from the world.

(By the way, I haven't been able to upload pictures either. I thought it was just something wrong with my computer etc, but it's good to know it's not me, it's Blogger.)

Qtpies7 said...

Wow, thats very profound. I love it when God reaches down and opens our eyes to something big!