Skip to main content

Junk drawers beware!

I remember hearing my pastor teach about what we model vs. what we say. It goes without saying, we often model something different from what we say. The "modeling" we "do" is sometimes louder than the "modeling" we give in the form of advice, shared knowledge, etc.  Wisdom is the application of knowledge - wisdom is "modeled" knowledge.  If you have ever begun a project like spring cleaning your junk cabinet or drawer, you will appreciate this illustration. When you clean the first cabinet, rearranging all the stuff which haphazardly finds its way into the shelves over the course of the year, changing the shelf paper to freshen up the look, and close the first cabinet door, you soon remember there are twenty or so other cabinets which need to receive all the stuff you took out of the first which did not belong!  You go onto the second one, not just content to put the stuff in there in no particular order, but you undertake the same venture with this one.  Before long, your cupboard cleaning becomes an all-day affair!  What you didn't plan becomes an all-consuming cleaning marathon!  The issue - you didn't plan this - it just crept up on you and overtook you!

A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies has no sense.  Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot, but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit.  (Proverbs 12:11-12 NLT)

Fools chase this whim and that fancy.  Wise people have a plan to their attack.  What I described above was probably kind of silly, but you get the idea of just setting out aimlessly only to find yourself consumed by whatever has your focus at the moment.  I have done this type of "spring cleaning" marathon.  It started with one drawer - but after a short period of time, I got distracted from the drawer by the more urgent need to straighten the cabinet. The cabinet lead me into a completely different room for the demands of yet another drawer or cabinet.  Before long, the first project stood incomplete and I had several new ones to boot!  

Divided priorities will get you in this kind of a muddle.  It is best to have a plan - but no plan is good unless it aligns with God's priorities for your life.  I think we could carry this drawer/cabinet cleaning thing into our spiritual lives, as well.  We often think we will spend some time focusing on the "junk drawer" in one part of our lives, only to find it has stuff in it which takes us to the next place and then the next.  Before long, we become so scattered in our focus, we lose focus.  With God's help, we need to keep our priorities straight - fixed on what matters to him at this moment.

One word of caution - no "priority" is worth sacrificing a relationship over!  We sometimes get so caught up in the task at hand, the thing which promises such delight once we have attained it, but neglect the relationships we needed to cultivate all along the way.  The thing became our priority.  Having a clean house and no one to share it with is quite a drag!  

For most of us, we focus so intently on what we cannot possibly accomplish - making the pursuit of priorities kind of monumental.  For others, the focus is on what they can do - making the pursuit of priorities more realistic, but to others it seems like there will not be a positive outcome when "so little" is available to expend on the pursuit.  There needs to be a healthy balance between what we "can" and "cannot" do when establishing priorities in our lives.  God may ask us to do something which seems like it is weighted heavily on the "cannot" side of the list.  I cannot teach because I don't have formal training.  I cannot possibly reach that group of people because I have never lived like they have.  You get the idea.  

The "cannots" can actually play upon our emotions and keep us from pursuing the priorities God has for us.  All God ever asks of a man or woman is to entrust their lives to him - not to be perfect at doing everything, but to believe him to do what we cannot.  He loved.  He gave.  We believe.  We live. (John 3:16).  God's desire is for us to focus on the "cans" in our lives.  The priorities which will come out of the pursuit of what we "can" do will be taken care of by him as we step out in commitment to what he asks.  We focus on the doing - he focuses on us being.  Being in him, being with him, being all in for him!  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean