Thursday, January 10, 2013
Today’s Topic: Why Do I Keep Doing It?
Today’s Text: Psalm 119:109 (NIV) Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law.
I love the little games I can play with my grandkids to make them giggle. Some of them only work for a short time, but while they do it is so much fun.
One of the simple ones is what I call “Give and Take.” This is probably the shortest-lived game of them all, and is confined to a very narrow age span. Here are the simple rules:
- Give the child a small toy, or what’s really fun is to use their blanket or pacifier…sorry, nook.
- While smiling and with a playful attitude, take the item away from them and say, “It’s mine!”
- Then IMMEDIATELY give it back to them and say, “It’s yours!”
- Repeat and repeat until the giggles stop.
I have discovered that after only a couple of repetitions the child is handing the item to me rather than me having to take it from them. Then after handing it to me, they are reaching out to take it back. That’s when the fun really begins, because they have decided to participate in the game.
After a few months the window of opportunity closes. Not because they tire of the game, but because the desires of the human heart take over. “It’s mine” totally dominates the little one’s mind as “It’s yours” becomes an unacceptable option. As they grow, the parents are faced with a constant challenge to teach “It’s yours.”
I wonder how much easier the teaching would be if “It’s yours” was consistently modeled by the teacher?
- Are my possessions yours? Can you borrow and use anything I have when you need it?
- Is my time yours? Can you have my time anytime you have need of me?
- Are my plans subject to yours, or are do your plans always have to fit into mine?
- Are my desires and dreams yours, or do I reserve the right to fulfill self first?
But let’s go one step further and look beyond the horizontal relationships we have with family and friends, and let’s see how this applies to our vertical relationship with Jesus Christ. You see, the Psalmist was admitting that no matter how many times he had surrendered his life to the Lordship of Jesus, he kept taking it back. He was playing the “Give and Take” game.
“No wait, It’s mine!”
“That didn’t work out, so here, it’s yours again.”
Unfortunately, that conversation usually ends up with our lives being ours. We constantly take life into our own hands. We claim to have faith in Jesus Christ to bring fullness to life, but when the first circumstance arises that seems to contradict fullness we jump up and reach out and take back what we had given away.
Why do we do that? Does it ever really turn out all that well when we do?
From now on, imagine yourself with a nook in your mouth. Everywhere you go you have to have it. You have it in your mouth while you are driving. You have it in your mouth at the checkout lane in the grocery store, and have to take it out every time the clerk asks you a question. It’s constantly falling on the ground while you talk to people because you are also reaching for your wallet, credit card, or keys. Your attention is immediately diverted from whatever you were doing or saying because your nook is so important to you that you have to get it back immediately. You don’t even care if it got dirty, and it’s popped back into your mouth as soon as you find it. “Ahhhh, I can relax again because I’m in control of my nook.”
No, your nook is in control of you. And so is your life if you haven’t ever sincerely said, “It’s yours!”