Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Turning Point

This post is a bit longer than usual for me, but just so you don't think I've been slacking is a devotion that I'm working on for my Christian Writers Guild class.

The impatience of our society astounds me. And, by “our society” I basically mean me. Nobody drives fast enough, or at least not smart enough for me. My fast food isn’t fast enough and my on-demand Internet doesn’t keep up with my demands. My instant pudding doesn’t set up quickly enough and sometimes I think my friends have dropped offline because they don’t reply instantly to my instant messages.

As impatience takes over, I find myself drawn into the myth that my problems can and should be solved quickly. I expect to have a revelation from God and instantly make every needed change in my life. I want an immediate turning point.

The turning point is a concept I love. I see it happen in movies. I read it in novels. I watch the illusion of it happen on Dr. Phil and Oprah as guests leave the stage with their relationships mended or their will power bolstered. The lights come on and immediately the necessary changes are made. And so for myself, I expect the same.

I delight in the idea of realizing a change that needs to be made in my life and then actually having the spiritual maturity to immediately implement my new found wisdom. I love it when the lights come on to my own blindness, the truth is revealed, and I’m quickly able to act on it. Sadly though, that’s not usually the case.

Instead, I wrestle with God about why the process of change is so slow. Why, even though I recognize the change to be made, I feel powerless to act on it. I want a closer marriage relationship, to be a better mom, to eat less carbs and exercise more. I often know what I need to do to obtain these goals, but the changes come slowly. I identify with the apostle Paul where he says in Romans chapter 7, “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” I chase after my turning point and feel I catch glimpses of it, but can’t quite reach it. It’s elusive, intangible, and anything but instant.

In Mark, chapter 8, Mark tells the story of Jesus healing the blind man at Bethsaida. “When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, ‘Do you see anything?’
He looked up and said, ‘I see people; they look like trees walking around.’”

Although, he certainly could have, Jesus didn’t completely heal the first time. We’re not sure why, but he chose to do this miracle in stages, rather than instantaneously. However, in the end, he did finish his work. The next verse tells us, “Once more, Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored and he saw everything clearly.”

Whether we are talking about learning, healing, or our spiritual maturity, we need to understand that God is going through a deliberate process with us. He wants us to be mature and complete, not comfortable and mediocre (James 1:3-4). His interest is not in taking us down the shortest path, but in our ultimate good. God leads and we must choose to follow, even when the way seems murky and we can’t see our own feet on the path we are walking. No shortcuts allowed.

The Bible speaks over and over of God’s ongoing work in our lives; how he is making us into a perfect image of him. We are a work in progress. When I’m aware of this work and that it’s a process that takes time; when I realize that my life will be a slow progression of maturity and when I remember that “he who began a good work in me, will carry it on to completion”…that’s my real turning point.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Turning point comes in each and every bodies life so we must prepare for this......


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