Monday, March 31, 2014

A lesson from a water bottle hoarder...

I cleaned out my "tupperware" cabinet a few weeks ago. I feel its important to note I don't actually own a single piece of brand named tupperware, it is all cheap plastic containers we put leftovers in. I am also not sure what I did classified as cleaning out. Basically what happened was the tower of unmatched bowls and lids fell into the floor for the millionth time and I decided to quickly toss out a few pieces, take a few to my mom, and stack the others back in as neatly as possible.

What I discovered in the back of the cabinet was 8 different reusable water bottles. EIGHT.  Some with squirt tops, some with straws, and even a cute, fancy Tervis with a clip. I pulled them all out and thought well that is a bit excessive. I can vividly remember purchasing or being gifted each one and EVERY SINGLE TIME thinking, "oh this will help me drink more water".

Well guess what...

I still don't drink much water.

It may have helped for a week or so, but once the new wore off, I was back to my old habits.

The thing is the problem isn't in the water bottle.

The problem is in me.

I don't hate water, but I don't love it.

Mostly I don't want water.

I want a cherry Dr. Pepper, sweet tea, or coffee.

I have had at least 4 separate conversations with 4 very different people over the past several months, but the content was very much the same. They all expressed in some way, how they were having trouble focusing and getting the important things done.

What struck me as interesting is all of these people had something to blame for their lack of focus. Its possible social media or their new love of Downton Abbey(okay, so no one has actually mentioned giving up Downton, pending no one else dies) is in part to blame for the struggle.

 Let me preface this next paragraph by saying, I always think there is benefit in stepping back from things that we fill our time with to refocus. I think it is necessary, important, and biblical. 

However, what concerns me is that we tend to have a really hard time owning our failures. It is easier to blame something or someone else for our problems. It is easy to blame the tiny humans for my messy home. It is easy to blame my DVR for my lack of time in the word. It is easy to blame being tired for forgetting to pray. It is easy to blame the water bottle for the lack of water intake.

When the real problem is in me, in us.  I just don't want to do this.

I want to watch Downton Abbey... or read Divergent... or take a nap... or fill in the blank...

When we take on Christ in baptism and commit to following Him, we essentially give up our life and entrust it to God.

We are committing to changing our desires to God's desires. 

And guess what...

Its no longer about me.

Its no longer about what I want.

Its about what God wants.

And God wants my life.


So maybe instead of blaming and running away from all the distractions in our life, we give them to God and allow him to transform them into avenues for his work to be done. 

Maybe we use the internet as a tool to strengthen our bible study, maybe we use our Facebook to tell 500+ people in one second how God has rescued us and he can rescue them, maybe we use our radio to worship our Father and teach our children of His greatness while driving, or maybe we use the baseball field to love the unloved.

And then if you can't give it God, you prayerfully consider purging it from your life.

What is God asking you to hand over or purge?