Another Word…by Gus Keiser

September 5, 2017

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

                                                                                    Luke 6:46

It had been a long and difficult week for Mike, both at work and at home. He and Becky had been at odds over finances and some necessary remodeling work at the house, something, because of long work hours, he had little if any time to do.  At work, all he was feeling was pressure to complete a project by what seemed to him to be an impossible deadline.  So between the demands of both his wife and his boss, all Mike wanted to do was simply escape, if only for an afternoon to do what always brought him relief from stress, and that was to sit by a quiet stream with his fishing pole in the water… hoping that nothing would bite.

So, against his wife’s urgings, he threw his fishing gear in the back of his pick-up and backed out of the driveway, determined to head for his favorite, off the beaten track, secret fishing hole. When he reached the winding dirt road that led to his favorite spot, he turned off and proceeded down the road.  But his drive came to a sudden screeching halt as he rounded the last bend, only to discover there in front of his truck’s bumper, lying in the middle of the road, was a woman lying on a blanket, working on her suntan.

Taken by surprise, but also relieved that his truck had stopped without running the woman over, he waited until the dust cleared, got out of his truck, and approached the woman.

Mike (fairly calm given the situation): “What are you doing?”

Women (startled and angry): “What does it look like I’m doing?”

Mike: “You’re lying in the middle of the road.”

Woman: “So?!”

Mike: “I don’t think it’s a great idea to lie in the middle of the road. I could have run over you!”

Woman: “{Bleep} you. I’m not moving!”

Mike: (sarcastically) “Okay. Have a nice day!”

Mike got back in his truck, obviously frustrated, backed down the road a bit, parked his truck, got out and walked the rest of the way to the pond. And as he walked he thought, “Sure there are certainly times when people ought to take a stand for their own rights, regardless of the consequences.”  But this didn’t seem to qualify as a very great example, for either one of them.  For him, it was a moment of stubbornness and will, and while the woman wouldn’t back down, Mike did.

The whole experience caused Mike to reflect on the other things that had been happening in his life lately. It also caused him to think about when he knew God was asking him things of him, and how he, in effect, told God the same thing he’d just been told, “I’m not moving!”  And aren’t we at times just like Mike and that woman?  We want all the good things God has for our lives, but we want our life to be easy at the same time.  Like those two, when our lives become uncomfortable and too difficult for us to obey God, too often, we also become stubborn.

In one way or another, we all have these stubborn moments with God. There’s not a one of us who is immune from them.  So the question then becomes, how can we minimize the times when we won’t budge?  I don’t know that there’s a complete answer to that question.  I guess, as Christians, what we need to do is simply say “yes” to God, whatever the circumstances, and whatever God is asking of us…something we already know, but also knowing that it’s going to be a struggle to carry out his command.

That long journey toward consistently saying yes to God can only be experienced by taking small steps. Perhaps that first small step is in the realization that taking the easy road in life rarely takes us where we want to go, nor does it lead us to becoming the person God wants to make us into.  Obedience to God is rarely easy, but whatever pain it may bring, we also reap the benefits of having been molded into that more complete image of Christ.

So, today, take a few of those small steps, especially when your first response to God becomes, “{Bleep} you, God. I’m not moving!”  Instead, get up off the road, pick up your blanket and walk toward the one who gave his life for you.

Sorry about the stubbornness and disobedience God. Can we get on with life together, you and me?  Amen.

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