“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” 2 Chronicles 16:9
My Lenten journey leads me to “To pray for a willing heart” today. To be honest- I’m more of a “willfully” hearted, kind of girl. It would be safe to say, that once I get an idea into my head.. I’m GOING to find a way to make it happen, or die trying. This isn’t ALWAYS a bad thing… but sometimes.. it causes trouble…
Like the time I got it into my head to wallpaper the the bathroom. Nothing drastic.. just a simple border at the ceiling… a tiny room, my husband hadn’t gotten around to it yet.. so I decided to do it MYSELF. IMMEDIATELY.
I was fine standing on a kitchen chair, arms spread, holding a 6 foot length of border at the ceiling while smoothing it flat- I made it 3/4s of the way around without trauma.
That is, until I got to the part that went around the bathtub. Have you ever placed a kitchen chair in a bathtub and then tried to PRESS a long strip of wallpaper border to the ceiling? Well- the leaning forward and pressing with arms outstretched.. tends to SLIIIIIDE the chair backwards on the slippery surface of the tub. You end up precariously perched on the edge of the chair, leaning as far forward as possible with all your weight holding up the border so that it doesn’t slide back down the wall in a slippery mess. You cannot get off the chair to move it forward again- or the border will fall down. Even if you do, the chair will immediately slide backwards: AGAIN.
Hours later, your husband will come home and he will find your strained and sore body still standing there- holding up the border. He will laugh and offer to help. You will be tempted to cry, but instead will say “I can do it MYSELF.” Then, you will finish the job under the influence of ibuprophen and stubbornness. That night you will sleep like a statue tossed under the covers- arms stiff and unable to bend, the covers will tent your shame, albeit ineffectively.
Looking back- I should have waited, at the very least, I should have accepted the help. But my strong will had become engaged, I was on a mission- like a toddler trying to “do it myself” I made a mess. I was also making a point. I was angry that what I’d wanted done, hadn’t been done. I played the martyr role- and ended up sacrificed on the altar of my own will- I paid a painful price, but fortunately it was just in soreness. Other battles of my will haven’t been as casualty free.
In my journey with God- I get into similar scrapes. Most often, the trouble happens when I get an idea and go into full on mission mode, without so much as asking to see if that mission was part of the journey God has planned for me. By the time I slow down long enough to consider it– I’m in knee deep and struggling.
The scripture reference reminds me that the Lord looks for those fully committed to Him.. to strengthen them…
What does being fully committed to something mean?
“Dear Lord- I ask you to take my offering of willfulness- and make it into a willingness- a willingness to do and be WHATEVER you plan.. I love you Lord- and will need your help– because I tend to get in my own way in this area! Amen”