We pray, whatever your will is, and then back off quietly; lying to ourselves that we never really wanted it all that badly in the first place.
I can’t…I won’t look inside my heart and say no, that was just a fluke. Hearts don’t have flukes or accidents, they have falls. Sometimes those falls are like a toddler learning to walk. It starts off a little wobbly and then plunk. At least it was cute. Other times they are like the elderly trying to move. They can barely stand and when they reach for their walker, bam. The inevitable crash ensues and there goes their hip.
Then there are falls worthy of Youtube. You know the ones where a young teenager, usually a guy, surrounded by a group of friends who are screaming/cheering/making animal sounds in the background. This teenager is usually on something with wheels: bike, skateboard, tire, bus. He’s got fire in his eyes, he’s going to make the jump. It’s online so we already know how horrific this is likely to end. But the kid doesn’t and he goes for it, full speed all smiles and adrenaline and…. his face gets to second base with the pavement. Laughter erupts, they, his friends, totally knew this was going to happen – that’s why they brought the camera.
In desires, broadly, and in relationships, specifically, we are all going to experience some if not all of these falls multiple times. There will be the cute stumbling drops of young love and immature choices. As we mature and develop a thirst for risk in our young adult days we will definitely manufacture a few Youtube worthy clips from the choices we make. That huge leap of faith of travel which only ended in a boomerang of disappointment. Or the really dumb feat of strength your friends talked you into and the hospital visit which followed. Thankfully we are young and Lord willing have plenty of time to learn and recover from these.
As Christians I think we are prone to the elderly fall most of all. The slow slip that leaves us crippled. Why? Because we don’t even realize we’re falling.
The kid and teenager know when they’re in trouble, the incident ends as quickly as it began. The slow slip is much more deceitful. It tells us to reach, promises there will be back-up plans and alternatives to save us just in case, and so we trust ourselves. Hey, if we’ve survived all those falls in our youthful days surely we’ll be able to catch ourselves this time around. But the truth is that we can’t and its not until we’re on the floor damaged that the thought finally sinks in.
If we try to employ this technique of lying to ourselves and trying to force our hearts to be ok with God, its like beginning a slow slip. Sinners crash and make it onto Youtube. Christians crumble quietly. You can not be honest with God if you are not first honest with yourself.
Imagine stepping into the ring with your wrestling opponent, leaning in close before the match and whispering, I don’t actually want to wrestle I just wanted to see the ring up close. How would that match turn out?
When we lie in prayer we do the same thing to God. We enter his presence, lean in close and whisper I don’t actually want to get intimate with you.
Do you think Christians are more likely to crumble quietly or to have a crash worthy of Youtube?