Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Simpler Ain't Necessarily Better

Some days I long for simpler times.  And no, I don't mean covered wagons, farmland and days pre-Alexander Graham Bell.  I mean I long for the simpler times of being a sinner.

The sinful times weren't very happy...
They weren't fulfilled...
Life wasn't exciting or abundant or bright.

In fact, the sinful times were devoid of joy...
They were empty...
They were hollow and dark.

But boy, were they easier!

I awoke yesterday morning under a black cloud.  No reason, I was just surrounded by ick and didn't feel particularly motivated to change it.  In fact, I decided to sanction it by announcing, "Sorry, everybody, I'm just in a bad mood."  That oughtta do the trick and let me off the hook, right?  After all, I'm entitled to a mood every now and then, yes?

Nope...

The morning went from bad to worse...
Everybody was "off" and irritated.
That further ticked me off, knowing that my mood determined everyone else's...the pressure!! 
I don't want to be responsible for everyone else!

I put off reading my devotionals for as long as possible in order to maintain the darkness.  Really, another five minutes would have been a blatant "giving the finger" to God.  I thought maybe I shouldn't risk it.

God (through Sarah Young) tried to put me in check:
"To live in My presence consistently, you must expose and expel your rebellious tendencies....Try to become aware of each resentment, however petty it may seem...ask My Spirit to increase your awareness...Bring (it) boldly into the Light of My Presence so I can free you from (it)."

Hmmmmm.....
"Naaahhhh," I thought, "I think I'd still rather live in the dark for a few.
After all, the self-righteousness and general loathing is fun every now and then."

He hit me again:
"...when My sovereign will encroaches on your little domain of control, you often react with telltale resentment.  The best response to losses or thwarted hopes is praise: The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord."

That's low, God...hitting me with the lyrics to one of my favorite praise songs. 
The text from Job. 
The song I sing whenever I'm really down and know I need to praise....
Low, man...

"Be prepared to let go of anything I take from you, but never let go of My hand."

That cracked the exterior a bit, but I wasn't sold.  In fact, I didn't even want to go to church.  But obligation and saving face in the light of our congregation won out over my mood, so Braden and I took off.

As I was walking up to the church (late!), the choir had already started the processional song. 
What was it? 
"Blessed Be the Name of the Lord." 
I started feeling small and sorry because God was making me big and important, so hard was He seeking me to return.
That's when it hit me...

Sinning was so much simpler than battling the enemy.
I didn't have to fight so hard all the time back then.
he had his hold on me and didn't have to waste energy trying to win me over.
I was already with him.

But, as God was reminding me, simpler ain't necessarily better.

God has now blessed this warrior with a life of purpose.
As my friend, Robyn, has said to me,
"The enemy is afraid because now you're a threat. 
 So he's going to go after you at all times."
What a bully....
I hate bullies.

It reminds me of my 4th grade nemesis, Tommy Dassinger, who took every opportunity to harass me on the playground. I felt helpless.  Until one day after it rained, Tommy slipped in the mud, fell down, and his head found it's way to the area one foot in front of my shoe.  I took that black patent leather Mary Jane, wound it behind me and kicked him in the head.  (Then, of course, lied to my teacher when he told on me. I said my foot had slipped in the mud.)  Mrs. Brown loved me so much that she believed me (I know, I know I should feel badly about this...but I really don't), and Tommy never bothered me again.

Well, lucifer, I'm here...
I am a threat...
And you should be worried.
Just because simpler is, well, simpler, doesn't mean I'm taking your playground assaults.
I'm fighting this battle so worth fighting for.
I'm dustin' off my Mary Janes and waiting for your head to come into view.

You'll never know what hit ya'...

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