In the Way
We were having a small group discussion on legalism when a friend shared a situation that had occurred in a church she once attended.
People were always gossiping and complaining about how things should be done according to their own personal views or traditions. The pastor became concerned about legalism that had crept into his beloved church. So he placed a large wooden cross in front of the congregation during worship and asked that they focus on it. My friend said that afterward people still complained about aspects of the worship (ie; too loud, too soft, off-key, too many hymns, not enough hymns, too contemporary, etc)... you get it. Shaking her head she added, "someone even complained about the cross being 'in the way'!"
We all suffer from this blindness; unable able to see the forest for the trees.
Just yesterday in fact, I complained all the way to work about the icy roads when suddenly my attention turned to the majestic snow-capped peaks straight ahead. It was a breath-taking view as the morning sun reflected the unspeakable beauty. God gently reminded me that not only did He provide the transportation and the job, but the skills to do the work. I smiled and thanked Him as I pulled into the parking lot.
But it wasn't long after getting my morning cup of coffee that the workload overwhelmed me. There I was again, mumbling, "this is ridiculous, I can't keep up with this. Why are people standing around talking when there's so much to be done?" Then I looked over at the bright yellow flowers on my desk. My daughter and son-in-law had them delivered to my office "just because". Tears welled up in my eyes. I thanked God and quietly dove into my work.
The day went by and I arrived home in the evening. Shoveling my sidewalk and groaning about the bitter cold, I thought of my neighbor who lies in bed, unable to walk. Not only did it become less burdensome, but I shoveled hers as well, thanking God for my health.
Like that pastor, God puts beautiful things in front of us every day; things that reflect His love and grace. It's our choice to recognize them (Him)... or not.
Every single day, we can be self-centered or Christ-centered, willfully ignorant or truth-seeking, buckle under challenges or strengthened by them, focused on the Savior Who suffered on our behalf, or our own discomforts.
What's in your way?