So, here I am again. With an all too familiar story to share and honestly, it’s probably more than a story. It might just be a stronghold, a habit, a sin or all of the above. You see, I adore God moments. You know, anointed conversations, favor in your circumstances, and divine appointments? They are amazing and uplifting. Those moments are reminders of the powerful God we serve and the love and opportunity He has for us. But what about the other God moments? The ones that lead to repentance or reminders of what you are doing wrong? The moments about how you are spinning out of control or just trying to be in control? Let me share my most recent holy smack in the face. I’ll set the scene.
It was the first day of school. Tummy jitters and a new outfit fluttered around the house until it was time to leave. We weren’t running late (those days will come, I assure you) and excitement walked us to the car. We drove to school, I parked and then it happened. Coffee everywhere. Not on me. Not in the cup holder. In the back. Everywhere. How you ask? I’m glad you asked.
Take a look. This was my dilemma at the time and as you can see, I had no room for my 500th cup of coffee. And wouldn’t you know it. After looking at this photo days later, I noticed the reminder on the screen. Low Fuel Warning. Now there’s a reminder that has a lot more weight behind it than just needing gas.
So, I sat it on the middle console. Perfectly logical, right? Right, until I knocked it over, spilling it all over the back seat and floorboard and sprinkling Emma’s freshly painted toes for the first day of school. My goodness. What’s the big deal? Man, you are full of questions today, but it’s good. I have a point.
Once I got back to the car after dropping my newly second grader off in her classroom. Hold on, bragging moment. Isn’t she beautiful?
It happened. A God moment. Loud and clear. Enough so that I knew to take a picture as a reminder so that I could share with you beloved. In that moment, I knew that I was living on the edge. Literally. Once again, I had allowed choices, sin, habits, busyness, family, friends, church, and on and on and on to crowd my heart all while ignoring the most important piece of the puzzle. Fuel from my Heavenly Father.
I know, I know. You hear it all the time. But seriously, am I the only one who does this? Am I the only one who will work and work and try to do too much without replenishing my soul and then when the next thing happens, blow a gasket? You know, like a new puppy peeing on your new rug or your youngest needing stitches? Yes, that happened this week too. See.
What about a long line at the bank, a smart mouth teenager, a flat tire, or wait for it…spilled coffee?
In scripture, there’s a beautiful reminder in John 15 that says…
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
Christ spoke these words himself. To us. So pretty much, if I continue to run on empty and ignore my heart’s need for time alone with God, I won’t accomplish much. If I continue to ignore bad habits and try to be in control of my own life, I’m like a branch tossed away to wither. If I cramp my head space and heart space with things and appointments and people of this world, I’ll be fruitless. Man, what a cup of spilled coffee on an already dirty floorboard can bring to the light.
Maybe it’s because I’m always running late that my car overflows with dirty cups and evidence of yesterday’s lunch? Maybe it’s because I’m very much so addicted to that black drink that I feel incomplete without it? Maybe I’m so tired that when I pull into the garage, it’s all I can do to carry myself up the stairs let alone a handful of dishes? Maybe my mind is so consumed with the world and it’s problems that I just simply always forget?
Honestly, when my feet aren’t firmly planted in the truth of God’s word and the life He has called me to live, I am not at my best. Crankiness happens. Laziness takes over. Self control disappears. Anger bursts out. Resentment sneaks in. Entitlement rears its ugly head. Wow. All from a car of dirty dishes, I know!
Heres the truth. Unless we stay in the vine, we won’t be of the vine. We won’t lose our salvation but boy do we lose our peace of mind. We lose our joy and contentment. Our faith seems to disappear and fear takes the wheel. And we definitely don’t display the fruit of the spirit. Remember those? Yikes!
We have to be steadfast in pursuing Christ. We have to stay in the scriptures. We have to etch time alone with our Maker, our Healer, our Comforter. We have to stay in communion with other believers and we have to be proactive about learning the truth of His word. We have to find a body of Christ to publicly worship with and join with as we are led by an anointed pastor. We have to learn to pray as if it were our first language and we most definitely have to respond to God moments, even the tough ones.
I have some work to do. I need to find my rest in God. I need to replace old thoughts with true thoughts. I need to stomp out bad habits and pick up the habit of daily falling in love with scripture. I need to turn to friends and family in times of need. I need to surround myself with like-minded believers so that we can hold each other accountable when our bent is more towards the world than Christ.
What about you? Does my mess remind you of your mess? Even better, what does your car look like this morning? Does it represent something deeper? Do you need to adjust your priorities? Are you overworked, overbooked, or exhausted? Do you regularly make time for our Heavenly Father? What about repentance? Whatever you may be facing, one thing’s for sure. Life is much more peaceful when we remain in the vine. Won’t you join me as I turn back to time alone with Christ and put Him first place in my life?
One more thing. Here’s that new puppy that peed on my new rug. Just look. Now how’s that for a reminder that I am not in control.