I stepped on a kazoo this morning. It was cold and metal and made me mutter things that shan’t be repeated here.
I got angry the instant I stepped on that kazoo. It hurt and my instant reaction was, “aaaahhh!!!” and then to kick it across the room. Classy, huh?
It was only for a split second though because I saw myself and how I was reacting to this situation and I saw everything that I didn’t want to be and I gave my head a shake. Then I laughed. Because this is it, isn’t it? This is life.
Our time is filled with a hundred different moments every day where we choose how we’re going to react. Sometimes we step on kazoo’s, other times we get handed a cupcake. Sometimes we have to clean out gutters and other times we get to fancy ourselves up and go out for a nice dinner. Sometimes the thought of having to throw that baseball just one more time in the freezing cold for our son makes us want to curl up in fetal position and other times when they snuggle up close we just want to breathe in the crevices of their neck and stroke their hair and never let them go.
No matter the situation, though, we are given moments to choose and the choice is simply this. Are you, in this moment, choosing Jesus or the church of (_______) insert your name here?
I often choose the church of Rhonda. When I get angry at the kazoo it’s because I feel personally attacked by my children’s placement of their toy and it leads me to a place of entitlement. They should have put it away. They should listen to me. I set the rules in this house. How dare they disobey.
It may seem like overkill but it’s true.
When we’re cut off in traffic it’s not the other persons best interest we’re keenly aware of, right? It’s our own. It’s the sense of injustice we feel they inflicted on us, US!! Do they now know who we are? We’re the president and CEO of our own empire. I am important and I am right and just, how dare they.
In 1 Peter it talks of how when pure gold is put in the fire it comes out of it proved pure. If it is what it’s claiming to be then it can withstand. If it is, in fact, pure gold then the fire won’t damage it. If it’s pure it won’t be corrupted by the elements surrounding it. (1 Peter 1:6)
We are given a clear set of instructions on how to live. It really is not a problem of not knowing. We sincerely can’t claim that we weren’t told. We may not hide behind the guise of, “but I thought….” because scripture is clear.
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Notice what it doesn’t say? Hey almighty one, you should get mad at the kazoo and your children because they hurt you. You, my darling, are completely entitled to not love that person because of the way they treated you. You want more dessert, oh glorious one, you should have it. You know what, you’ve had a rough week. Maybe let your guard down and just relax. You deserve it. You know what else? Those people just don’t understand how important you are and you should stick it to them. You should probably yell. That always seems to help. Or maybe finger them to satisfy that place in your heart that needs to prove just how right you are. That weird person? Roll your eyes behind their back. Maybe make fun of them with your friends and be super duper sarcastic because everyone knows your just joking! You’re funny. You should use that to rally people to your team and support your agenda. Nevermind that its at the expensive of others, they’ll never know. You’re assertive, not mean, there’s a definite difference. You aren’t power hungry, you’ve worked hard. You deserve, you are entitled to, you can say whatever you want to say, you can love whomever you choose, you can eat and drink and ….and….
And what? Those things belong to the church of your own making. The empire of you. The empire of me.
In case we’re not fully down with what our brother Peter had to say and are interested in a second opinion we have one. Paul wrote a letter to the Galatians that gives us a run down on the mode of our hearts, our actions and how they ought to be to others. It includes words like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control.
Not kicking kazoos. Or puppies. Or people when they’re down.
When we’re pressed, squeezed, placed in a hard or hurtful situation we see what’s really inside of us. We see what the first thing that comes out is. The gold can go through the fire and come out pure. What happens to us when we’re put through the fire? I venture to say we’re not always coming out pure gold. At least I’m not.
I truly believe that God works in the little things. The seemingly small. The every day. He gives us a thousand things to react to, to choose. So, what are we choosing? Are we choosing His way or our own? Are we worshiping Him or ourselves? Are we creating a very powerful empire of self and building monuments to our greatness or are we bowing to the one who is worthy of all worship and practicing the things He told us to.
Every day we can choose. A hundred times a day, we choose. Are we choosing Him?