This week has been a perplexing week for me. I have found my mind preoccupied, but not focused. I have been bugged by the constant battle between being what I want to be and observing what I let myself be.
Last night while on what turned out to be a great run I was listening to Hillsong’s Mighty to Save. There is one particular lyric that seemed to call to my spirit.
So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender
Isn’t this were a lot of us find ourselves. We want to surrender, we want to give our lives to follow what we believe, but yet we sit and look around and see the scars of failures and the waste of fears. For instance….(start the dream sequence)
Earlier this week, I was driving home and stopped at a traffic light downtown. Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone slowly crossing the road. I was deep in thought and didn’t pay too much attention, until I noticed that standing right in front of my truck was a man, dressed in dirty clothes, standing on crutches staring at me. Then he reached down and held up a piece of paper that had words written on it in magic marker. The words said something like “Help me feed my Family”. I sort of just sat there in disbelief, sort of dumbfounded. I was thinking things like “what did they just say on Sporttalk(local afternoon radio sports show )?”, “What happens if the light turns green, do I just beep my horn or simply run this dude over?” and finally – “What should I do?” I was so surprised by the boldness of this guy that I really didn’t know what to do. There I was stuck at the like, this guy in front on me, staring, his eyes pleading, and I am kind of like ‘Are you looking at me?’ So in sort of a disgusted way, I shook my head. He looked down disgusted and walked the rest of the way across the street. What’s interesting is our disgust was the same. He was disgusted with me; I was disgusted with, well ME.
The rest of the way home I thought about this guy. I really don’t know what was up. He could be the number one scam artist in Chattanooga – but probably not. He was probably just a man in need. And there I sat with what I think is MY money in MY pocket, driving MY truck going home to MY house to eat MY dinner. ‘Get out of my way homeless dude, I have MY stuff to do.’ Mine, mine, mine. But yet, I will sing with all my might,
“Now I surrender”.
Yesterday was evidently National Good Neighbor Day. And surprisingly this one is actually backed up by a Senate Resolution. I can’t believe I missed it. But not to fear, one of your fellow ‘buffeters’ pointed it out to me. So, I thought back to this guy. And I thought about how easy it has been to make it about me this week. Not just with dude in the street, but with my boys, with my coworkers, and with my friends. Interestingly Jesus tells us multiple times that the second greatest commandment in the whole wide world is “Love your neighbor as yourself”. (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 19:18-20, Matthew 22:38-30, Mark 12:30-32, Luke 10:26-28, Romans 13:8-10, Galatians 5:13-15, James 2:7-9). Paul in his Galatian letter said it summed up the ENTIRE law!
“all my fears and failures…”
I am so glad that we live in the age of Grace ( can I hear an Amen – or just add it to the comments!) I am so thankful that I don’t have to earn the love of Christ. That the love of God is freely given. That forgiveness is freely given and that it’s really not at all about me.
And that’s what is so perplexing. I got it for free, but yet I find it so hard to share. It’s not mine, I am just blessed to live in the light of his glory, and to have it light my way.
Anyway, today’s a new day, filled with new chances, new opportunities and new moments – and he does “take us as he finds us”. It seems to me that everyday should be Good Neighbor Day.
As some of my coworkers say “Do the Needful”
“Shine Your light and let the whole world see”