Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Testing or Tempting

Ever have those days or times where you have a thousand different things going through your head? Distracting thoughts. I find them extremely frustrating. Generally, these distracted feelings come when I have the longest to do list…aka multi-tasking will cause this. In a perfect world, we’d be cape wearing souls every day and be able to zip through our lists. In the real world, it just doesn’t always work out. And, just let one snag hit while your attempting the massive feat of getting everything done. I liken it to a meltdown of sorts (or at least in most of my cases).

So, why does it happen?...Why? I doubt that it is for me to say. But, I do have some assumptions.

Am I being tested? Hmmm….possibly. More likely, though, I’m being tempted, tempted to speak words that I’ve chosen not to utter, tempted to kick the air in disgust, tempted to allow myself to anger easily, tempted to basically allow my inner 2 year old to come out and behave as if the world has taken my favorite toy away. I must sheepishly admit that it certainly isn’t the first time this temptation to act out and stamp my foot has come up. Generally, I am able to push it aside or acknowledge it and move on. But, today….today, it took several hours to right my thoughts. It really is a shame because in those several hours I have to wonder how many people’s lives I touched in some way or another. Grace was certainly not on my mind or in my actions (including the candy machine that I forcefully pushed back and forth to give up my candy bar that I had paid for but got stuck coming out).
Satan causes temptation. He causes us to anger easily and he revels in the fact that we can park there in our own cloud of stupidity. Anyone thinking that God would cause that sort of thing clearly has to be mistaken (or maybe just needs to take another look, I guess). God made us for relationship. He wants us to cultivate them, as well as His kingdom. I can’t imagine that He would be looking at my inner 2 year old and smiling broadly. But, He does grant me the grace to pick me up when I finally realize how ridiculous I’m behaving (I believe that realization clicked after I finished devouring said candy bar mentioned earlier). He, in fact, picks me up every time I decide to follow the path of temptation, whether it be a huge detour or just a small one.

I will never pretend to understand all of the inner workings of His creation and how it all works together, but I am always, always aware that I am truly blessed to be a part of that and forever thankful for the unending grace that is given to me. And, I pray that some day I will be able to completely ward off the temptation that wells up inside me. But, that is not for me to fix myself and can only change by turning it over to Him. I finally understand the email quote that I received several years ago. I wish I could find it. It was something to the effect of: “Today, God, I give you all of my worry, all of my pain….I give it all to you.” I know there was more to it…just can’t think of it.

I remember reading it and scoffing at it several years ago, thinking “How? How am I supposed to just give it up?” It makes sense. It is only through Him that the worry and pain and whatever else can go away. It is only through faith that we can be restored. Hmmm…funny that I struggled so with that meaning. I mean, it made me feel warm and fuzzy and moved me emotionally, but I just couldn’t understand why. I think now I do.

P.S. If you know of the refrigerator notice and can find it for me, please send it my way. I know it wasn’t a specific scripture, but an email type thing.


Nick @ Cupboards said...

Thanks for sharing, Amy- too often we are swept up in work and neglect our personal "world". I think that it creates and inner struggle and more than temptation, nudges us to step back and reassess for a moment- A "get it together" of sorts.

For some it's a big deal to admit imperfection. Thanks for showing your human-side.


Verse that comes to mind is Phil 4:6- not exactly what you're looking for, but the premise is the same.

Amy Good said...

Thanks, Nick. Yes, that is a verse that I know well and often utter to myself. It is, in fact, the verse that helped me finish that first race when I wanted nothing more than to quit and walk or succomb to the pain in my leg.

A friend recently sent me Exodus 15:2. It is one I had read before but never stopped and parked at. But, I find myself saying it to myself often these days.

As far as the human-side, I live my life with my heart on my sleeve most days. I think it is because I spent so many years pretending that I was fine and that I had it all together while secretly I was stuffing all the hurt down inside and using it to punish myself when no one else was around.