ROSCOMMON, MI – Here at Bambi most of the snow has melted, and everything that was once covered in a sheet of white has become visible again. Projects left uncompleted are being put back on the to-do list along with the unfinished landscaping that was so easy to ignore as long as it was covered-up. When the snow melts, everything that was once hidden will become visible again and require some attention. Honestly, as much as I get tired of the snow, it is nice to have a rest from weeding, mowing, edging, and all the other yard maintenance stuff. Nevertheless, left unattended the grass and the weeds will become overwhelming and difficult to cut back. I know this for a fact because I have often ignored yard work, and just the thought of mowing and trimming the yard back into a manageable situation is overwhelming. The longer it is ignored, the more difficult it is to fix and so on and so on. If I would just do regular maintenance on the yard, it would never grow out of control.
Well, such is life.
I don’t like it, but it’s true. My natural tendency in dealing with conflict, relational issues, or frustrating circumstances of any kind is to ignore it and hope it goes away. Often, in the moment it seems so much easier to ignore the situation. It is easier to cover it up with rationalization, denial or busyness. I’m reminded of the encounter Jesus had with the religious leaders and referred to them as “white-washed tombs”. They appear clean and tidy on the outside, but are dead and decaying/filthy on the inside. If I’m totally honest, I have to admit that I like being perceived as having it all together - clean and tidy - no flaws - white-washed. Trying to maintain the facade is deceptive and exhausting. Obviously, it does not fix anything either. Unfortunately, as broken humans, we use all sorts of coping mechanisms or escapes to white-out anything we don’t want to deal with and anything we do not want others to see. I like to dive into a project I really enjoy so I can validate the time I’m not spending fixing the problem. I compartmentalize (hide) the negative and spotlight the positive. This allows me to rationalize not dealing with the issue. Nevertheless, no matter our choice of escape, all are equally wrong because it reinforces our selfish, sinful nature and denies an opportunity for God to intervene. My pride will keep me from experiencing Gods provision. My pride will keep me from experiencing God’s healing in me, and those around me. This will prohibit new growth and fresh life in my relationship with Christ. Spiritual/life maintenance is crucial to our spiritual growth.
Colossians 3:12-14 tells us, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
As God’s children we are to live life with compassion, humility, meekness and patience so we can continually maintain our relationships with others by holding them up in times of need and forgiving. Love is to be our default heart condition - we should never be without it! Oh, the frustration, anger, and stress we would avoid if we just maintained our lives with these Godly actions. Imagine the growth we would experience, if we just act out of God’s love and not our own selfishness. Let God melt away your frozen heart of pride and selfishness so you can experience new life in the Son.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mick Schatz serves on the staff of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. He is the State Director of Spiritual Enrichment and Retreats and lives at Bambi Lake.