Photo by Maryhere on Morgue File.
There are days when all you can say is, it’s one of those days! We all have them. None of us like them or look forward to them. They have a way of showing up when we least need them to do so. Of course, days like that are really never welcomed or convenient to any of our schedules. They are much like illnesses, there’s never a good time for it.
Yesterday afternoon, after work, I decided to finish trimming the lawn (I had mowed it the day before). It has been raining a good bit here as of late, so the lawn was in major need of mowing. I got the weed-eater out and started to work. Now, just FYI, the weed-eater and I have had a few minor skirmishes in the past. It has been known to be a bit temperamental on occasion, leading me to lose my patience on those same occasions! (I’m not sure what it is about patience, but it does seem rather troublesome to keep up with at times!)
Almost from the start, the weed-eater was not cooperating. It has a dual-line dispenser and most of the time only one line is out and cutting. After a few attempts to keep both lines out and cutting, I finally gave up and decided one was better than none. Before long, however, I was down to none. So, I had to open the spool and extend the line. As I continued the work, the spool came completely off the end! Long story short, this ended up happening about three times. Needless to say, I was not very happy with it!
Next, after trimming, I decided to hook the sweeper up to the mower and sweep up the cut grass. The tires on the sweeper are pretty worn (and discontinued by the manufacturer) and so half the time the sweeper simply slid across the grass without actually sweeping it up as it’s designed to do. I ended up having to go over the same spot time after time to get the grass up. Again, needless to say, I was not very happy with this.
Just earlier today, I set out to finish where I had left off yesterday. I had been at it for thirty minutes or so, when I noticed a dark cloud coming hard and fast overhead. The wind picked up, nice and cool, which I welcomed, but no rain. I inspected the cloud for rain or lightning and, seeing neither, kept on with the sweeping. As I went to dump the load of grass, off in the distance I saw a cloud-to-ground lightning bolt. I decided it was a good time to quit the lawn sweeping!
There’s an old saying here that goes, it’s just one thing after another. The sentiment behind the saying is that when things go bad they seem to continue to go bad. Once one thing breaks or gives you trouble, you can be sure so will the next and the next and the next.
As I said at the beginning, some days just seem to be one of those days!
There are days when you seem to take two steps forward only to get knocked back three. I have found when you experience these sorts of days, there’s really not much you can do about it. You can either quit (in frustration) and go home. Or you can persevere and hope things turn around. Usually they do of course. But, it does take a bit longer sometimes than you would like.
The Christian life is sometimes much like this. Even with your best efforts (and intentions) things seem to go haywire. The bible passage you read is uninspiring. Your prayers seem to go no farther up than the ceiling, ricocheting back down on to your head! Your memory verse just won’t stick in your head. The godly counsel you try to give ends up coming out all wrong. You do all you can to follow the Master and wind up flat on your face.
Temptations get the better of you. Your mind wanders and settles on things less than godly. Old habits keep resurfacing and kicking you in the rump. Old attitudes that had shown no signs of life in ages suddenly make a reappearance (and often times, you are not even sure why). Like a malady sweeping over your body, you begin to feel all the ick-able things of the flesh: envy, jealousy, hate, depression, covetousness, lust, pride, greed and all things selfish.
During such times, you could clock out of Discipleship 101 and go home, get in the bed, turn out the lights and take a long, deep nap. I’m not sure this will better the condition, but at least you will be well-rested.
Or, you can pray, seek, knock, ask and persevere. There is something to be said about forging ahead. Sometimes the stretch of path we find ourselves on in discipleship is thick with overgrowth and there is much work we must do to continue onward.
What we may indeed find is that the clumsiness of the moment, the irritable aggravations we are experiencing at the moment may in fact be, not an invader to our discipleship regiment; but rather, a part of it! It may very well be part of the Master’s design to stretch you and test you. While the failure/sin is on us, the stretching is often times part of our growth and maturity.
Thankfully, there are also times of reprieve and rest. There are times Christ grants us rest and comfort. There are times when he carries us and times when he gives us a sabbatical.
But, in large part, discipleship is about following his lead, which in turn is about moving on. All paths have their easier points. All paths have their twists and turns. All paths have their scenery and their severity. And all paths have their terminus. Remember the end of our path as believers is Christ-likeness and eternal rest!