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I’m the exception

My four year old asked me the other day what number comes after 29.  I told him “30”.   He said to me, “No mommy, it’s 2010”.   Cute right?  No.  Well, at least not in the mood I was in that day.  By the time he had asked me this, we had been through several of the same rounds of this.   Finally, in my impatience, my poor son got an earful; “Do you think I’m stupid?  How many years have I lived on this earth?  That’s right, LONGER than you…..” and on and on I went.  Poor kid had bug eyes and probably thought; “There she goes”…..

 

Funny that even in my frustration I couldn’t help but think how many times I’ve had this same kind of interaction with God – me telling HIM the 411.   “Connie, do you know how long I’ve been around??  That’s right, LONGER than you….”    Oh yes.  Right back at me.

 

This leads me to the woe in Isaiah that hit me more than ever.  And it changed my life.

 

Doom to you who think you’re so smart, who hold such a high opinion of yourselves! (Isaiah 5:21)


The problem is when we think we’re smarter than God.  Now, lets be honest,  we’re not so daft to come out and say, “I’m smarter than You” – at least those of us who believe God exists.  We know He’s all powerful, so we wouldn’t have the nerve to come out and say it like that…… but we sure will live like it.

 

There was a time in my life when I heard God speak to my heart SO CLEARLY not to do something.  There was no question that it was God saying a big, fat NO.   But I didn’t listen.   Why??  Because I thought I was stronger than I was.   I brushed it off thinking I could handle it, and then tried to ignore the continual voice that spoke to me to get out of the situation.   Years went by….. YEARS.   I still wasn’t listening.  God finally stopped warning me and then I figured I had just imagined the warning.

 

My problem was that I thought I was the exception.  “Others” wouldn’t be able to handle it, but I’d be fine.  I was pretty wise.  I was smart.

 

I was so wrong.

 

These next verses from Romans I’m going to add echoes Isaiah’s woe.   And remember, this was written to Christians about people who knew God.  People who thought they were stronger than they were.  People who were wise in their own eyes…..

 

“What happened was this:  People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship Him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense no direction left in their lives.  They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life.  They traded the glory of God, who holds the whole world in His hands, for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.  So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get”.  It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out.  And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them.  (Romans 1:21-25)


Wow.  I just read my whole journey right there.   I didn’t treat God like God.  I became God.  There’s only enough room for one God in our hearts.  We will either take that place, or He will.  Interesting that its talking about Christians refusing to worship God?  Doesn’t that seem like an oxymoron?   But if its written in the Bible that means its more common than we think.  How does it show up?   By thinking ourselves wiser than Him.  Trading the incorruptable for the corruptable.  Making God “common”.   The result: silliness, confusion and a lack of direction.  Just living day to day with no sense of a greater purpose to this life – other than the odd “high” moments of pleasure we plan.  And spiritual blindness.

 

In my journey, I thought I knew more than Him.  Pride blinded my eyes to see how foolish I really was.   God became small in my eyes and MY ideas and thoughts took front seat.  Where did it get me?  Right where the scripture said: in the pigpen…. filthy.  My heart was hard, calloused.  My life was in ruins.   I was broken and had nothing left to hold on to.  I lost all I had worked hard for.  For what?  For my own way.  My own opinion.  My own “wisdom”.   I made myself God.

 

The good news is that God didn’t leave me there.  He let me learn,  then picked me up and washed me off….. and then He held me.   In His arms, the reality of the glory of our amazing God and my awful humanity hit my heart with such force,  I couldn’t help but feel so small and unworthy.  But He didn’t treat me like that.  He forgave me and allowed my life to flourish again.

 

So friends, beware of thinking of yourself as “the exception”.  There are no exceptions.   The pigpen is real and it sucks.

 

For those who don’t care and still choose to “be the exception”…..

Let me know how that goes.

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Categories: a new spirituality
  1. laura meilleur
    February 10, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Connie as I read this a passage came to mind, I want to share it with you:

    Ezekiel 16: 4-14

    It is coupled with this one:

    Job 11: 13-19

  2. February 10, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Hi Connie — seems like there has been a real attack of the enemy coming against all of us — ME (dad) included — and after I feel like such a misserable failure — I have to constantly go befor the Lord — and say Please forgive me. How every single one of us needs the Lord more than anything else — and one another — to love Him even as He loved us — and even as He loves us – every single day – and then to remember to love one another even as He does “This is a big challenge to me” every single day – Romans 8:1 — For NOW there is no condemnation to those who are abiding in Christ Jesus – who walk not after the flesh but after the His Holy Spirit — Also for the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus sets us free from the Law of Sin and death.” I am not preaching — just sharing my own heart – love dad.

  3. Belinda
    February 11, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Oh Connie! I have been in the pig trough… and it don’t half stink! I have run ahead of God telling Him he should try keeping up. I have lagged behind telling Him to stop rushing me and I have actually walked beside Him totally ignoring Him along the way and not speaking.

    It just doesn’t work. It doesn’t feel right and it produces a harvest of pain or even worse….nothingness.

    I often read that passage in Ezekiel that Laura mentioned… especially verse 15 …..But you thought you could get along without me….” and I weep.

    I don’t want to get along without him. I don’t even want to think about it.I want to hear him say daily “this is the way walk in it.”… and to feel my hand in His, knowing that Daddy knows best.

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