Monday, October 12, 2009
Stepping Around The Ugly
How many times do you pass by something ugly in your life before you remove it? Obviously (for me) it is too many times! Today as I walked around my circular drive, spending time in prayer, I almost stepped on something ugly – a squished frog. Apparently he had lost his life to a passing car circling the drive, and well, he looked exactly like you would expect him to look after being rolled over by a 2-ton vehicle. I changed my stride long enough to step around him and continued walking. Round and round I went, each time looking down at that poor frog and thinking to myself, “Yep, there he is again! Yah, he’s an ugly mess.” Then I would step around him. After doing this several times, I began thinking about ugly things. How sometimes I get so accustomed to them, I allow them to be a part of my life.
On one trip around the drive I noticed an old leather glove that had been unearthed several months ago, still laying next to the driveway in the dirt. Today wasn’t the only day I noticed it. I noticed it every time I took my morning walk! It’s just another “ugly” thing I have grown accustomed to in my daily life. Today I took a picture of it for this post, because today will be the last day I walk by it. I’m pretty sure that while I walked and prayed, God told me to pick it up and throw it away! Not because He’s tired of looking at it or it really bothers Him so much, but because I think something else bothers Him more and He wants to teach me about that. Something more important than ugly old leather gloves or smashed frogs I step around on my daily walk.
I think He wants to teach me more about the ugly things I sometimes allow in my heart – the ugly little sins I step around (not to mention the big ones) and become accustomed to living with; like irritability and impatience. Whenever I do notice them, I just think, “Well, that is ugly!” Then I keep moving on without really addressing them, without asking God to remove them from my heart.
It was pretty easy to pick up the glove and throw it in the trash and to shovel up the frog and toss it over the fence into the pasture. The ugly things of my heart can be gone too, because God Himself promises to take them away if I give them to Him. Then as long as I don’t go digging in the trash to pull them back out, they will stay gone.
I know it may sound weird, but I’m going to keep the picture of the glove to remind me of this lesson today (I’ll spare you the picture of the frog). I love the way God answers prayer when I ask Him to teach me something. I never know what it will be, but I know it comes from the One who is Faithful and True; the One who loves me. It’s time I stop stepping around the ugly things in my life and remove them; apparently, this includes some irritability and impatience!
What is God teaching you today?
I could find no scriptures in the bible about ugly old gloves or frogs (except the ones in Egypt), but I found plenty about the heart. Here are just a few ~
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 138:23-24)
My son [duaghter], pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body. Above all esle, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:20-27)
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (Ephesians 1:18-19)