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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Well, that was a flop!

I like the social media site known as "Pinterest" because it gives me tons of ideas of things I can do to not only save money around the house, but plant my garden, organize my drawers, and even take better pictures with my camera.  It has such a wide variety of stuff posted there and I just love taking an hour here and there to peruse the content which has been uploaded.  Now, I don't take advantage of the full site, because I don't have little kids around anymore, so those crafts and "hacks" are not as helpful to me.  They are good, but they don't touch my life where it is I live life everyday.  I think this is why the Word of God is sometimes so rich for us in some respects and there are portions which just don't seem to touch us as deeply on occasion.  We find those portions which are very helpful for wherever it is we are living life at the moment and these become the tools by which we "do life".  Just as we have examples of good gardeners, crafters, and cooks to follow from the posts on Pinterest, we have great examples within God's Word which paint a picture for us of what it is like to live in a way which honors God.  We also have those examples of some "life projects" gone wrong!  I like how God doesn't just "post" the successes, but lets us see life sometimes has the failure points we can share, as well.  Those shared failure points are actually stepping stones which provide "dry ground" for others to pass over the things which caused us to get mired down in the mud of life.  We benefit from the passage of another, even if they didn't manage to do it with "flying colors"!

Follow the example of good people and live an honest life. If you are honest and innocent, you will keep your land; if you do wrong and can never be trusted, you will be rooted out. (Proverbs 2:20-22 CEV)

I think there are times in life when we don't want to admit we have impure thoughts, dreams which bother us, or struggles with certain habits.  Why?  They are kind of embarrassing and we don't want to put them out there on display for others because they aren't "perfect" examples of how to live life.  As those actors would say on those pesky insurance commercials: "News Flash....nobody's perfect"!  I have made some batches of cookies which just wouldn't hold their form - spreading out all over the cookie sheet as they cooked and connecting one with another.  When they were done, they didn't taste any different than the ones which stayed in perfect shape.  I still ate them!  I have made some fudge which never did set up quite as firm as it should, but I still enjoyed the richness of that chocolate flavor melting in my mouth!  I have made some mistakes in how I communicate with people, but I have worked to remedy those.  We still talk!  Here's the truth - we all make mistakes. We are not perfect.  This side of the grave, we will never reach that point of "perfect".  If we think we will, we probably better take that belief to God and let him root out that root of pride which exists!

Good people set not only "good examples" of the "right way" to do stuff, but they help us learn from the examples of the "wrong way" they have tried, as well.  Maybe this is why we need to connect with each other on a little deeper plane than just "posting" our successes for everyone to see.  We need the freedom to show our failures - not just our "pretty well done" life moments.  Honest people are not afraid to be honest about the hard stuff.  Yes, being open or transparent about the bad stuff we do is hard, but oh so worth it.  In our relationships with each other, we might just grow on a deeper plane if we were to be open and honest about the stuff we struggle with.  When we don't get "perfect" right every time, we need their encouragement to try again, but maybe in a different way.  When we are honest with each other, it allows us to find those "different ways" to live out the experience we have been struggling with on our own.

Trying to cover up wrong in our lives is kind of futile because the evidence of wrong actions will eventually come to light.  You cannot hide forever what gives you the worst of your nightmares and becomes the toughest of your struggles.  Eventually it comes out in other ways, even if you try to hide it at the place you think it is.  It is kind of like my sprinkler system and the roots from my trees.  For a long time, little leaks can go undetected, because the tree puts pressure on the pipes buried underground.  As that pressure is applied, micro-fine cracks can begin to occur, or joints can be stretched until their glue begins to loosen.  At first, the micro-fine crack just provides a little extra water to the tree's roots and the tree is all the happier it caused the crack.  The failure of my pipes is not noticed and the tree thinks it has successfully kept that from me.  When I get my water bill next month, I may think I just watered the grass a little more, or that we took a few longer showers.  I may not be too alarmed.  When this continues to spike for another couple of months, I become a little more concerned there must be a leak somewhere.

The leak may not be evident to me at first - concealed well because the tree "covers it up" by producing new growth.  That new growth is costing me something, though.  It isn't really "planned" growth, it is just deeper roots which are causing more damage to an already weakened pipe system.  Our failures can be like that root from the tree.  Failures do some damage, small at first, and sometimes undetected by the "public eye".  Yet, in the course of time, the "micro-fine cracks" will become larger fissures and the "failure" will become evident. I would absolutely love it if the tree would just confess it broke my pipes and I could be quickly on the repair of that weakened area!  The tree doesn't want to confess it failed to avoid the pipe because it knows it will cost him that particular root!  Maybe we are a little like that - we don't want to admit our failures because we know it means someone will get a view of our roots and there might even be some "root removal" work necessary!  Just sayin!