“How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Matthew 7:4-5
It was definitely an “I need coffee” wakeup. You know sometimes you bound out of bed like an overactive gazelle and sometimes you just sorta fall out of bed. Well, today was somewhere in between. I am an early riser but today was earlier than normal…4:00 am. It wasn’t an overactive brain but an overactive bladder. “Wakeup sleepy head. Time to rise and shine.” Yeah. Right. Sure.
I went into my man-cave to tell the Keurig coffee machine I needed help…fast. As I was getting things ready, I looked on the floor and there was a small round thing. I recognized it as one of the mementos I had on a wall displaying memories from my stint in the Air Force. It was then I looked up. There was a gaping hole in the display. A large picture frame that had been the center piece for the display was missing.
So, I stumbled around, keep in mind this is still before coffee, and started finding things. First, there was the picture frame…not on the wall where it belonged but on the floor. Also laying on the floor and on my desk where several things that I had placed on top of the frame. It was like an avalanche of memories had fallen off the wall. What in the world?
Well, here’s the deal. I am (or used to be) a fan of Command Strips. It’s a product that allows you to hang things. You simply put a sticky thing on something and then put another sticky thing on the wall, press them together and ta-da you are done. Well, apparently make that almost done. Or, maybe done for a while. Or, maybe done till it decides it is done. Regardless…the picture isn’t on the wall. Of course, there is that thing about cleaning the wall with alcohol before you stick it there. Did I do that? Hmmm. Probably not…the wall didn’t look dirty to me.
Anyway, there are a couple of things that made me think about this whole falling off the wall thing. First, I walked into the man-cave and noticed a little round medallion on the floor but didn’t see the gaping hole on the wall. Isn’t it amazing how we sometimes notice the small things and miss the giant ones? That’s what Jesus was talking about when He said we walk around with a 2×4 in our eye while telling someone they need to take care of a speck of dust in their eye. How weird is that? Or maybe not.
And then there is this whole falling off the wall thing. You see, that picture had been hanging on the wall for well over a year. The two sticky things were stuck together like white on rice. Then slowly over time they started to lose their grip. Little by little the one stuck to the wall became loose and then one day…it just fell. And when it did…it took several things with it. I don’t think it woke up and said, “Well, today is the day I’m going to fall off the wall.” Nope…little by little gravity pulled and tugged until it won.
I’ve had some pretty good failures in my life. And do you know what? Very few of them where planned. Most of them were just products of neglect. Stopped getting on the scale. Stopped exercising for a few days…weeks. Stopped having my time with God in the morning. Stopped telling my wife she hung the moon. And then one day…you just fall off the wall. You stop loving, stop believing, stop doing the next right thing. You suddenly find yourself in a hot mess. And rarely does it affect just you.
So what do you do? Well, I find that the Bible is a really good resource for avoiding the landslides of life. Jesus said in Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He says we should watch out. Look for signs that you are losing your grip. Beware of pattern changes, attitude changes. Second, pray. Yup, prayer is a big one…but maybe not like you think. Worry less about being on your knees and using big words and just tell God what is on your mind. Then, get ready, trust Him with the answer…the solution. Last…be ready to acknowledge your own weakness. It’s ok to acknowledge when our “want to” doesn’t measure up to our “gonna do” or our done. That’s why we need God. Big time.
I’m gonna put the picture back on the wall. This time it won’t be with a sticky thing. I’m gonna use a nice big screw. That way, it can’t lose its grip…the screw will do the work. And I think I’m gonna try that with me and God. I’m gonna stop trying to hold on to Him and let Him hold on to me. I bet that is a better idea. I bet I can rest in Him then. After all, He’s got me…and He’s got this.