Today’s Scripture readings are one of the more challenging sets of readings so far this year. The first reading is Samuel and Saul with Samuel explaining to Saul that God is not happy with him and he needs to wake up and smell the roses. The Gospel readings are about when the people questioned Jesus as to why He and His followers weren’t fasting like the Pharisees and John’s disciples. In both of these readings, you have figures who “think” they are doing what is right and have good excuses/explanations. But, the reality is that is just the point. God doesn’t want or need our excuses, explanations, or words. He wants to see the action. He wants us to be obedient to Him. Period. He wants us to trust Him even when it doesn’t make sense. He wants us to choose His way even when it is hard and would be so much more fun or so much easier to go the other way. He wants us to stop at the stop signs he has placed in our path and to turn to Him.
Doing this is the hardest thing I have ever been asked to do in life. Our culture raises us to be strong, showing little to no weakness to others. I know I was raised to stand strong and intelligently on my own two feet and to not just follow anyone who comes along, especially just because he is a man. 🙂 (Yep, my mom was a staunch women’s libber and raised her 5 daughters to be strong women and not dependent on men.) And yet, what this teaching of Christ is asking of us is to acknowledge that we are weak and that we need to submit ourselves to Him completely. To His will. To His love and care. To totally and completely trust Him and His plan even if we don’t know what that plan entails. This is my battle. I choose God’s path. But, along the way, I have to continually die to myself in order to stay on that path. Sometimes, that need to die to self is not just a daily thing but an hourly and sometimes a ‘to the minute’ exercise.
Thankfully, it is possible through His grace. For my strength is nowhere great enough to accomplish it once, let alone the countless times it will take. Thank You Lord, for Your mercy and grace are enough for me!