For me, this has been a rough 40 days of prayer; my church joined together to seek the Lord, and our 40th day was yesterday. I look back and feel like maybe I fell down more than I stood up. I had more than a few moments I tossed it all up to the wind and was ready to just quit trying since I’d failed repeatedly. But….then the Holy Spirit gently picked me up, stood me up on my feet, and started dusting me off…all over again. Reminding me that I came in this condition, and I’m a bit better than I once was – but….I still need help. And still need cleaning off.
Being God’s ambassadors here on earth can be hard, too – being salt and light are a high bar in a world so broken. Speaking for myself, I can be a pretty poor example of His love sometimes! He calls me to show the rest of the world what He’s like, and when I’m grumpy, or impatient, or judgmental – even if I tell myself I’m “not as bad as everyone else” – the world sees. And they think God might be that way, too.
But being failed humans, imperfect Christians, we don’t have the right to give up. To shrug it off and assume people already hate God, that we can’t make it any worse. That we failed 5 times at a spiritual discipline, so why try a 6th. That our prodigal has rebuffed our gentle nudges so many times we might as well quit making an effort.
Our obligation is to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off – and start all over again. To pick up where we dropped God’s calling on our life, and re-commit to the next step. To apologize when we wrong someone….or when someone sees us wrong someone else. To let them know that’s our flesh that did that….and that God calls us to do better. To call that person who needs to hear that someone loves them. Today.
I may be speaking to an audience of one – me – but even if only I hear me, that’ll be worth the writing of this post.