Life without a shovel
I try to remember to “never weary of doing good” but it is hard…only the Almighty can give me that strength.
-the fabulous L. Scott
Let’s just put it out there, what say?
Some days I don’t wanna.
I don’t wanna be patient, I don’t wanna be merciful, I don’t wanna be slow to anger, I don’t wanna do the good I know to do.
It’s not that I actively want to be impatient or unmerciful or any of that. It’s just that some days it’s hard, really hard, and it takes a lot more energy than I want to muster up. Entropy is dying to have its way with me.
That is when doing good, or even thinking good, is a God-sized task.
But as long as we’re letting it all hang out, let’s keep going with this one.
Sometimes I have a really jacked up definition of “good”.
Sometimes I persist in patience and helpfulness and all-around do-gooderness long past any point of reason or wisdom. It’s that part of me that is a pit bull, that would rather go down with the ship than give up, give in, let go.
Eventually I become overwhelmingly, mind-numbingly tired. So tired that things around me start crashing. Or perhaps more accurately, things within me start crashing.
But surely as long as I can keep doing something, I should keep doing it, right?
Surely I should persevere, press forward, and call every hard-fought step a victory, right?
Welcome to the pitfalls of substituting principle for relationship.
God has an amazing way of enabling us to do much harder things than we think we can do. He specializes in the impossible.
But sometimes He has a different kind of path. And sometimes…we stand there in our blazing do-gooderness glory, smack dab in His way.
When I’m in His way, it’s beyond exhausting to keep doing good because He’s no longer enabling me to do the thing I am calling “good”. It’s all coming from human strength and determination. Unlike His strength, which is limitless, my strength will eventually be depleted, usually sometime after I’ve hit bottom and continued to dig anyway.
You can bet that while I’m refusing to put down the shovel that I can back up my position with scripture. But I can’t back it up with the wisdom that comes from walking with Him and listening to His specific direction for me concerning the circumstances around me. Because frankly, that is the very thing missing.
Sometimes doing good means refraining from having an opinion.
Sometimes doing good means letting a situation continue without my interference or help.
Sometimes doing good means not doing anything at all.
Choosing obedience and refusing to do the good I know I could do is sometimes the hardest thing of all.
And only the Almighty can give me that strength.