Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fred the Ugly Iguana: Thoughts on Psalm 138

Here I sit at my favorite coffee shop again, wondering where today's adventure in writing will take me. I'm never sure...

I could write about how I just blew an hour of work looking at mountain bike parts I could never afford. When I'm tempted to look at mountain bike parts, I'm like a monkey who's just been introduced to banana chips. But I don't feel like castigating myself for my irresponsibility and you'd probably not enjoy reading it. Even though I deserve some castigation, it gets me nowhere and gives me headaches.

I could write about how God is teaching me to be patient. How I'm growing in patience as I wait on him to provide funds and contact individuals to partner with us in ministry. But being as I've been hesitant to call people the past couple of days, and I'm not very patient right now, I'm not going to.

I could write a day in the life of Fred the Ugly Iguana, but while I'm sure it'd be exciting, I don't know anything about Iguanas really. Wow, I'm being really vulnerable today.

OK, so I'll read my Bible for a while...

Here's something. Something a little more relevant. Something for days like this when my faith is shrunken to the size of a small pea (not the big ones injected with hormones that Melissa warns me against). Something for guys like me who struggle with really-tiny-minuscule-little-person faiths (or iguana faiths I don't want to leave you out Fred).

"On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased."

I forget that faith is a gift, not something I have to give to God. It's to be asked for and received. And our father loves nothing better to give us faith, as well as constant thoughts about iguanas named Fred.

I'm so mixed up by this. It seems that my lack of faith keeps me from asking for faith, because I just don't have faith that God will give me faith. "I've tried it," I say to myself.

The truth is that I have more faith in me than in God. After all, even as I pick at the blister on my hand, I'm made of flesh, bone and blisters. I can see me. I can handle me.

Can I handle me? Not really. My instincts are always all in the wrong directions. I don't trust me. While I'm not going to go rob a bank (even though that would make me feel super-cool and would definitely be on my list of things to do if I wasn't so inhibited by my culture) and while I'm not going to buy a pet tiger (like the guy last night on animal planet who got eaten, surprise surprise), my instincts do seem to go in directions that could be best described as "curious." I do not handle myself well.

Left to myself I search the internet for banana chips, I mean bicycle parts. I rarely want to be about the business of work. Work is restrictive, uncomfortable and just not me centered enough. Why can't work get in line?

All of the above is why I found this verse so encouraging today. With all the roller-coaster thoughts derailing and exploding in my head, faith, real faith and strength of soul is promised to those who ask.

"For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly"

I'm definitely low. Enslaved to stuff I've been freed from. I hate that verse about the dog returning to his vomit. I'm always like "Yup, that's me."

I think God knows this. He's super-omniscient-present-knowing-stuff. Come to think of it God could be the ultimate black-mailer. Thankfully he's not. "He regards the lowly."

"The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands."

Wow! That about takes my faith problem biscuit. And I hope it encourages you. I'm going to call out to God now. Not too loud though, because I'm in a coffee shop. Cultural inhibitions again. Maybe I'll go by the bank and do it.

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