Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


Good stuff

"When I try to appear to do good, that's the point at which I cease to do good."

That's what Leeman told me last week. He'd taught a Sunday School class on Pharisaism, and the summation of his teaching could be captured in that one statement. We spoke for a while on the weight of that truth, because as we examined our lives, we realized how deeply guilty we are of the very Pharisaism we preach so loudly against. We do things to appear good before others. For our reputations. So that others will think we're spiritual. In hopes that our peers will notice. And all the while, we decry the very things we do. The only thing is, no one else knows, no one else can tell, so it's easy to get away with. *Sigh*'s a hard habit to break, ya know?

This weekend, I examined my soul a bit. Hehe...that's like saying I thought about surfing a bit. Understatement...major understatement :) Feeling down and more than a little frustrated with the state of my soul, I pulled Scott on the side at one point (we were at Boyce's Spring Retreat...more on that later) and asked him to bless me through encouragement, admonishment, and prayer. I told him I was feeling the weight of my sinful flesh. In retrospect, I'm thinking perhaps this is one of those times that God's remaining silent in order to draw me closer to Him. *Sigh*'s a hard thing to deal with. I look inside my heart, and all I see is failure. My own failure, mind you; God never fails. Everything I do is tainted with sin, no matter how pure I may desire for my motives to be. Everything I offer up to the Lord is unacceptable on its own; how I easily forget that I must go through the righteousness of Christ!

About a week and a half ago, I wrote a decently lengthly entry...I want to say it was on a Friday afternoon. Well, when I published that entry, it somehow got lost in an Hypertext Transfer Protocol (a.k.a. HTTP) error. Bleh. Yeah, that one bites a big one. I never rewrote it, partially because I didn't have the time at the time, and partially because it was on a topic I'd been...well...pained to write on. Now, however, I've decided to write on it.

When I think about the people in my life, I'm brought to grieving very quickly. I'm ashamed of how I deal with my own circumstances when I think of their situations: illness, confusion, seemingly needless suffering, and death. I can't begin to comprehend what many of my friends and family are going through, and still more, I can't even begin to think of how to minister to them. I hate it. I feel helpless, weak, tiny, insignificant, and so far removed from their lives. *Sigh* know what? In a very sobering way, I am.

I can't bring someone back from the dead. I can't make someone see the beauty of God's purpose in violent crimes...that happen directly to them. I can't stop the growth of cancerous tissues. I can't force God's saving grace upon someone...that's His alone to give. I can't even put myself in the crowd to watch my nephew's first baseball game. I wish I could, but I can't. My limitations drive me to anger...they drive me to sadness...they drive me to tears...ultimately, though, they drive me to the place I need to be.

The Cross.

If I'm not there, where am I? It's where I truly see how weak I am, unable to do any good on my own. But the Cross is where I have to go...if I don't go there, what will I do? I'll gnaw on myself until I'm crazy. God reminds me that where I cannot raise the dead or grant eternal life to someone, He can. He reminds me that in my own life, in my own failures, He's still at work in spite of all I do. At the Cross of Christ, I am shown God's righteousness, His right to allow suffering and His right to show mercy. At the Cross, I am shown the right I have to plead for His mercy on behalf of my own wretched soul, and on behalf of others.

The Cross. *Sigh*...if I'm not there, where am I? It's the only place where confusions are cleared, and pains made sweet.

posted by Bolo | 3:05 PM
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