Friday, June 17, 2011
Today’s Topic: I’m a Fixer
Today’s Text: Isaiah 45:9-10 “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’? Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What have you begotten?’ or to his mother, ‘What have you brought to birth?’”
I am a fixer. Yesterday was a very tough day for me. I was in the middle of a fix-it project when I got a call from my son who needed help with a fix-it project of his own. I dropped what I was doing and went to his house where he had a washing machine partially disassembled. It was leaking water from the bottom of the tub. One of the seals was bad, and we needed to see how to replace it.
With laptop computer propped up in the laundry room so we could see the service manual for the machine, we continued to take it apart. After almost two hours of work we had a solution. Unfortunately we had reached a point where we knew that to go any further would not be cost effective, so we quit and junked the machine. Thanks to all of you who helped him out on Facebook last night with options for its replacement.
On the way home my mind was swimming with questions about the design of the machine that made it so labor intensive to get at one seal. My questions were driven by my need for convenience rather than the engineering needed to produce a water-tight seal on the drum. I wondered if the designers did stuff like that on purpose to make it hard for the average person to fix on their own and then they would get kickbacks from the repairman. How sad I am when things don’t go my way.
When I returned home I took up my project, which is frustrating me because all the easy and cheap solutions aren’t working. I have one more option before I have to spend a few hundred dollars. Like I said – yesterday was a tough day for a fixer.
As I thought about my attitudes towards designers, I was hit full in the face this morning with the next verses in our study of Isaiah. It’s all about how we question the Designer. The arrogance of our attitudes that make us believe that we can do that overwhelmed me. Yet we do it. We have figured out ways in our finite minds to justify the questioning of the infinite and not feel guilty about it. We have so rationalized our rights that we actually claim to have authority in our relationship with One who created us. We are so driven by our need for convenience that we fail to see the long-term consequences of changing the design.
Sometimes we even use Jesus as our excuse for such questions. After all, He did it in the Garden of Gethsemane. Didn’t He ask God to change His design and not make Him go through death on a cross? We know He ended up surrendering to God’s will, but He still questioned it, didn’t He?
We forget four vitally important words at the beginning of that prayer – “If it is possible…” One of the Gospel writers puts it this way – “Father, if you are willing…”
That’s a far cry from how most of us address God when things aren’t being fixed according to our convenience. We demand that God change things. We go to Him with arrogant authority. We tell Him what we want done and then expect Him to do it. We question everything, not from a desire to understand the heart of God but to change the mind of God. That is not what Jesus did.
Jesus went to the Father with a heart already surrendered. He simply wanted to make sure there were no other options. But His first words indicate that He was already settled on the current course and trusted the Father’s final decision. Oh that we would live with that level of faith. Fixers find that hard to do.