I'll be starting a new series on the blog called Today's Meditation. It's just a section where I'll be sharing some thoughts that I've been working through. They are not all polished or perfect - just some musings that I thought you might want to meditate on with me.
You're welcome to read or bypass them as your preference suits you - I've made visual and title differences between the regular posts and the meditation posts to make your navigation easier.
There's a commercial on the radio advertising how easy their product is. It's so easy that it's like a group of kids picking Charles Barkley for their team of 3 on 3 basketball. In the huddle, as they discuss their strategy, Barkley says, "Ok, kids, here's our plan: Just pass me the ball."
It's almost like in life, all we have to do is pass God the ball of control over our lives. As I meditated on this analogy, 3 particular scenarios played out in my mind:
In the story above, it would be a poor choice for some kid to think he could do a better job than Barkley. There's really no comparison between a novice and a professional's level of skill. This kid would be the type to hog the ball and try to score while leaving Barkley in the open.
This kid reminds me of the ultimate control freak. Or a very inwardly obsessed person.
What I've been learning recently is that this is an ultimate form of idolatry - we put ourselves where God belongs. It's easy to do, and we've all done it. But the more mindful we are, the quicker we can get ourselves out of His seat - we don't belong on that pedestal!
It would also be a poor choice for some kid to try to impress Barkley with his smooth moves. While the kid may have been polishing them to perfection, it's most likely nothing the expert hasn't seen before. And what's worse is that those smooth moves are running down the shot clock without scoring.
This is the trap of perfect performance. God doesn't want to see our perfection - He is the Perfect One. He asks us to come to Him in the dysfunction of our mess so that He can give us His perfect strength.
Just like the kid driving down the shot clock, our striving for perfection keeps us perfectly distracted and can keep us from doing things that have an eternal impact - the Kingdom Agenda.
And as for idolatry in this scenario, perfection itself becomes the object of our focus instead of God. It tells us the lie that we don't need God and we can get there on our own.
Finally, there's the know-it-all kid who gives you the running commentary on each play. I think there's always someone who seems to know what's coming next and let everyone else know that they know. The sad part is that not only are they running down the clock, but they're creating interference within the team.
This person reminds me of the ultimate busybody. Not only do they run their own lives, they'll run yours if you let them. I think in today's rapidly changing society, it's brought out a whole new level of micromanagers and busybodies. Everyone is trying to cope, however successful they may be, and one way to do that is to control everyone around us and get into everyone's business.
Unfortunately, when we try to micromanage others - by deciding what they should be doing (or not doing), what is wrong with them, or what we don't like about them - we are actually setting ourselves up as idols in their lives. We are putting ourselves not only over them, but over God's work in their lives.
The truth is, God doesn't need our help in fixing others. The only control we should be managing is our self-control. And most people won't master that in an entire lifetime. If we can't control ourselves, what makes us think we can control someone else?
I'm sure each of us finds ourselves in different positions in this analogy throughout the seasons of life. But at the end of the day, all God wants is for us to give Him the ball. He makes good things from bad, He uses evil for good, and His ways are perfect. He is the ultimate super-star to have on our team!
Today, let's ask Holy Spirit to reveal to us what we need to give to Him and to show us how we can better leave the ball of control in His hands.
My prayer for today is this: Father, I give you the ball today. Touch me, use me, and advance Your kingdom.