I put out a family favorite dish of homemade salsa and tostitos chips for snack the other day. My younger kids were gathered around and devouring it with gusto. As the chips started to dwindle the kids started getting nervous. You could tell because they went from taking one chip at a time, to a few, to all-out fighting for the bag before their own little stockpile was gone. Screeching and complaining ensued and my pleas to share and not be greedy went largely unheeded. It was clear that they heard nothing I was trying to teach them! They became so focused on hoarding chips they didn’t even realize that they probably couldn’t eat them all. All that fuss obscured the goal; happy healthy snack time together.
It struck me as familiar. How often do we get so caught up in our own desires and wants that we fail to see the error of our ways in achieving them? Sometimes we lose sight of a path that God lays before us because we think we have a different and better path. Or just because we, in our limited human capacity, don’t see the wisdom of God’s plan plainly, perhaps we dismiss it as less worthy than our own. Perhaps we are simply so driven and so focused on our own course that we neglect the critical prayer for discernment. How often does God try to get our attention and teach us in our “teachable moments” of life but we can’t or won’t hear Him?
Isaiah 65:2 All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations
If my kids would have stopped to listen for a minute, they would have heard me trying to tell them something important, “Fear not, Mom is the savior of snack time.!” I have another bag!” In teenager speak that would be “I got you”. How much nicer snack time would have been if they had taken the hand I held out to them.
And how much more is that true of God in the whole of our lives? He is Sovereign and He’s got us covered! When our own plans go awry and we feel like we’re swimming upstream, we need to understand and trust that God definitely has a better way or a better plan.
Isaiah 55:8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
Turmoil, confusion, dissatisfaction, and hurt are not God’s “ways” for us. Achieving any end by means of sneaking, cheating, lying, being greedy and selfish is never in God’s plan. Any course we embark on that neglects Love at its core is less than Excellent.
Lord help us to be attentive to your teaching in all the situations of our lives and always show us your “still more excellent way”(1 Cor 12:31) Amen!