A little 'history' lesson

When I was much younger I first heard the saying, "Mountains out of Molehills". Have you ever heard that one? It is that kind of behavior that some would refer to as 'histrionic' - kind of always recalling the past and making WAY more out of it than we should. There have been times I have latched onto a memory of something I have done or said and done just that - made WAY more out of it than I should have. It was a 'slip' of the tongue, an action not becoming a child of the King, or a moment when all sensibilities just melted away and I indulged way too much. In an of themselves, those things mattered, but they didn't deserve the continued attention I paid to them by looking back all the time and recounting the 'depth of my sin'. We make mountains out of what really was just a little puff of dust in the scheme of things! A "mountain-maker" is kind of 'over-reactive' - there just isn't the 'substance' to make a mountain, but we keep looking until we can find something to add to the heap until it resembles a 'mountain'!

When wickedness arrives, shame's not far behind; contempt for life is contemptible. (Proverbs 18:3 MSG)

In the purest sense, this tendency or attitude describes our response to life that is disproportionate to whatever it was that really occurred. We all have a tendency to exaggerate a situation once in a while. Yet, as it comes to the shame we experience and often express over our misdeeds, I think we start out standing on a molehill, or a mere puff of dust, and before long it becomes a mountain in our minds. We don't have moles in my neck of the woods, but we do have prairie dogs or gophers. Those tiny mounds of dirt they push up as they burrow into the ground are certainly not very "ominous" in appearance at first glance. Yet, if you are the ground hog, those very small mounds of dirt serve some very significant purpose. They provide a barrier against the forces that would seek to invade their burrows, such as rain water. They act as tiny "walls or dams" to keep out the waters. They provide a vantage point for them to spy out their territory. As they perch on the top of one of those mounds, they can look all around. Only problem - their view is limited to this very "low" perspective. There are all kinds of "overhead" viewpoints which clearly expose those little critters scurrying about on their mounds. They also provide something to hide behind. They can barely peak over the top and begin to "sense" if there is safety in the immediate area. They can quickly retreat back into their hole if a threat is sensed. I wonder if that is what we do with out 'molehills' - use them as a place of retreat when life gets a little too harried for us.

Do prairie dog holes act as a good example of shame in our lives? Rain comes into our lives in either the form of "healing" or "cleansing" rain - direct from the throne of God. If we build dams against the "rain" of God's grace in our lives, we never really expose ourselves to the very thing which will totally cleanse and free us! The barriers we place between us and God in the form of our walls of shame actually serve to keep us from receiving the very thing that he lovingly provides for our healing. We also think we have a good view of our own sinfulness and misguided steps - seeing our shame in these steps as this huge mound of guilt we stand upon. Problem is we don't have as good of a vantage point as we think we do! God sees our shame as molehills or puffs of dust, while we see it as mountains! Our shame looks like an impossibility we have to overcome. If we were truthful here, we sometimes don't want to remove those walls because we have worked so hard to get those walls built! We hide so cleverly behind those mounds! We think they cover us from view, but guess what - - it is hard to hide from God behind a molehill or puff of dirt! Try it and you will find you have very little "cover" in the scheme of the Almighty's vantage point. There is nothing that covers sin like the blood of Jesus. Whatever "cover" we try on our own will only be futile.

I guess we focus on the molehills way too much. God focuses on the mountains - the places he desires for us to truly dwell. We find shelter in our molehills of shame and misery, all the while hearing God clearly call us up to higher places in his presence. Peace is ours in the mountains. High atop the mountains of his grace, we have the vantage point to see our sin for what it truly is - misguided steps that God will help us to not walk again if we give them to him and allow him to free us from the 'dusty places' of our past lives. We get all 'histrionic' - but the only 'history' that matters to God the Father is the history of the cross! Just sayin!


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