Somewhere in the Christian walk I find myself getting exhausted, overwhelmed, under pressure, and seemingly stranded in quick sand. With each new day and each new lesson, I find myself thinking GREAT!!! Just one more thing wrong with me. Just one more thing I have to fix. Just one more way in which I suck. Now it isn’t nearly THAT bad, but some days it sure does feel that way.
I want to be a good person. I want to do what the Bible says. I want to follow God’s leading. But some days it just feels like when I hear teachings and sermons and read the bible all I end up doing is tossing one more ball in the air to juggle. And I don’t know if you know this… but I am not a juggler. My friend Brent in college was a great juggler and I would always watch in awe as he could juggle just about anything and would try on a regular basis. But the first couple times I would try and throw those couple of easy (designed for juggling) balls in the air they would almost drop instantly, once I added that 3rd ball.
Now in life, I have been known for having 6 IM (instant messages) running at the one time. I have been a director for a musical holiday production, for those of you who don’t know: dress rehearsals are a GIANT juggling act, between final run through, sound tech cues, lighting steps, costuming decisions, final character corrections, and scenery improvements – yeah that’s just the BIG STUFF. I can watch tv, make dinner, bake brownies, have a conversation with a roommate, and check my emails all at the same time. Just last night I was sitting at the dining room table with a 1/2 dozen people and while I was telling one gal right next to me a story; I interjected a comment or correcting statement into the other conversation the other 5 people were having (for some reason they thought that was impressive). So for me, multi-tasking or coordinating multiple things all at the same time is just the WAY I do life.
So when I think about all these things in my emotional life or spiritual life that need changing or improving all I can think of: I can’t do ONE MORE THING!!! I’m already doing _____ and ____ and ____ and ____ there isn’t anymore room or energy for just one more (now I could copy and paste those blanks for at least 4 more times). So I believe that improving and changing is a definite part of life, a necessary part of our growth and improvement as Christians; but I can get overwhelmed to the point that I just say NEVER MIND… and toss the whole thing in the trash. Then the next morning I take it out dust it off and start working on it again.
But I was thinking the other day that a friend of mine really hasn’t changed AT ALL in the last 15 years (ok maybe 20), but we are friends and I like him as a pal. I know he has unhealth and dysfunction in how he deals with certain areas of life and some relationships in his life. Yet I don’t challenge him to change. I don’t ask those deep and probing questions into his personal life that would nudge him to change. I don’t even think I have brought up to him those things I think he is bad at. So why is that?
There are sooooo many other people in my life that I am in a constant tug of war with about what they need to change and what they need to improve. But with him I do not feel the same compulsion or nudge. Why is that?
His dysfunction doesn’t affect me directly and I have not be a direct witness to the harm his behavior causes. So is that the reason I have not confronted him about it? Is that why I excuse it and seem to ignore it? While others in my life at church act in unhealthy destructive behaviors, I can’t help but comment. I see them so stuck in their own ways it drives me CRAZY that they don’t see the error of their ways and CHANGE!!! I am pushed to challenge them to change. So why the double standard? Why am I so passionate about growth and change for some bur not for ALL?
Why can some people continue in their unhealth, dysfunction, and selfishness, but we love and accept them ANYWAY: while OTHERS if we do not see change or progress we become dissatisfied, distant, and even disgusted with their behaviors, personhood, and character?