Have you done anything stupid recently? Yeah, me too…‘This cocoa isn’t hot! I’ll have to heat it up again.” The words were spoken with a little disgust, but also with confidence. I have become a believer in modern appliances and the microwave oven is one of the most revolutionary advances in helping lazy men that I am aware of. For instance, this time I knew that placing the mug back in the microwave for a minute would remedy the problem. Lukewarm cocoa? No problem! Well, maybe a small one. You see, I had already placed those wonderful little marshmallows on the top and I didn’t bother to remove them for the reheating process. Not a good decision….
Okay, not a disaster, not even close to a calamity, but still an annoyance, with most of the acrimony aimed at myself. The Lovely Lady had even warned me, “Maybe not a great idea…”, but I thought that if it had been a really bad idea, she would have told me to stop, so the hint swooshed right over my head. Wait! Do you think I could blame this mess on her? Was it, in fact, her fault and not mine at all?
No, I had only myself to blame. I tend to do that, though. You know, just blunder through life. Good advice abounds, but my 50-some year old brain still reacts with the two year old attitude, “I can do it myself!” How is it possible that after all these years of living on this earth, I still don’t have the reasoning ability to perceive a good suggestion when I hear it? I like to say that I have perseverance, but I think it’s actually just good old-fashioned stubbornness. I even used to think that it was a family trait which was passed on to me from my father, but I see it in evidence everywhere I look. Yeah, Dad is stubborn, but it’s a quality that most of us share. It just demonstrates itself in different ways.
I watch my grandchildren, old enough to reason, but still young enough to think the world revolves around them, throw tantrums, simply because they’ve been asked to accomplish a task they’ve done numerous times before. The frustration for me is that in their completely irrational actions, I see myself. Oh, no screaming, no tears, not even any head-butting the back of the seat I’m sitting on, but I know beyond any shadow of doubt that I throw my tantrums too, just in a much more sophisticated manner. I get what I want with manipulation, deliberation, and rationalization, but I get my way. This, in spite of the knowledge I have that others around me have my best interest at heart.
You see, it’s in our nature to want to do things our way. It has been so from the beginning of recorded history, commencing with the parents of the human race, and continuing down without interruption (except once) since then. I’m just thankful that we have second, and third, and even fourth chances. Our Father’s grace is inexhaustible, unlike our own as parents. A friend passed on an encouraging message today which used the phrase “…guiltless be your heart.” I know my heart and “guiltless” doesn’t describe it. Thanks to God though, “forgiven” does. My stubbornness and selfishness are covered. The messes I’ve made have all been cleaned up. Tomorrow will be a new day for me to experience His fresh blessings and renewed opportunities. And, not only for me, but just as much for you too.
Let’s make a start together. Oh, and though you’ll probably be tempted to try it yourself, the marshmallows in the microwave? Probably not a great idea. You know, what she said…
“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day, as if nothing had yet been done”
(C. S. Lewis)