A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe

Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Are You a Natural?

Last Saturday I competed in the Pennsylvania IDPA State Match.  It was a lot of fun.  Although the sport is set up to teach, refine, and maintain safe gun handling skills, it is still a game.  The goal of the game is to shoot as quickly and as accurately as possible through each scenario they present you with.  You usually have a few minutes to devise a plan of action that you think will be the most efficient because in this game hundredths of a second count.  In one stage you had to start by standing at a night stand with both hands on the top of the stand.  When the beeper went off you had to open the drawer which triggered a swinging target on the other side of a wall.  Swingers swing for a while but eventually they return to an upright position, usually behind some barrels or something so if you don't get to shooting it early on, you won't be able to complete the stage correctly.

The range officers had quite a laugh at my expense at the end of that stage because when the buzzer went off I opened the drawer, grabbed my gun and then unconsciously reached down and closed the drawer before engaging any targets costing me precious seconds.  My only explanation was that I live with 3 teenagers who never close anything.  They leave the pantry door open, the cupboard doors open, the refrigerator open, their drawers open, the toilet seat up, the toothpaste tube open, the closet doors open, the front and back doors open, the garage door open, the dishwasher open and even sometimes the car doors open.  It's very natural for me to walk into the kitchen and spend my first minute there closing doors.  It's a given that I will close drawers in their bathroom and in their bedrooms.

It reminded me that what we are, we do without thinking.  I am a Mom which for me most of the time translates into I am a maid with an honorable title who cleans up after everyone.  Because I serve in this capacity, I don't even think about what I do, I just do it.

In Matthew 25 there is an interesting passage.
 34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

I find this interesting because these people had served the Lord in His kingdom, they had done the works of Jesus through the power of the Spirit, they had followed the commandments of Jesus so why did they have to question when they had done these things?  It was because they had done what they did because of who they had become, just like me closing the drawer.  Just as I didn't think in the midst of my shooting stage to prove I was a Mom or a neat person (which I'm not at all) by closing the drawer, these people did all these good works because they were good!  They had been made good, changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, so they didn't have to consciously think about all the good works they were doing.  They just  did good works because that is who the Holy Spirit had made them.  This was their new normal.

THAT is what the Christian life is all about!  It's about allowing the Holy Spirit to change you.  "All things become new", not by anything that we do, but by what the Holy Spirit does in our new nature.  We have a new normal!  Sin seems foreign and repulsive to us.  We become other-minded and not because there is some way we can gain or benefit from them but just because they are the Lord's creation that we are called as servants.

Of course there are those in this passage who tried to impress the judge with all that they had done in the Lord's name.  They were rejected!  Why?  Because the Lord did not "know" them.  His nature and spirit were not in them so their works were not of the Spirit but of the flesh and worthless to Him and to them.  Today we call those people "religious".  I call them plastic Christians-look good on the outside, but are hollow on the inside.  That is dead religion and a very, very sad state of existence.

Is it wrong to do what is right even if you don't feel like it?  Of course not!  That is part of the process but it is much better to just yield yourself wholly to God and allow Him to make you "a natural".  


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