|Douglas Frank Photo|
Are you messy, or do you have it all together? Whichever way you responded, we are all in progress forever. However, both extremes, if you will, are broken- forsaken. By this I mean we are all cracked pots with honey, motor oil or bitter gall leaking out all over. It is possible to have light flow through your cracks. Dr. Seuss had a way of expressing messes like this: And this mess is so big and so deep and so tall, we cannot pick it up. There is no way at all! — The Cat in the Hat. Have you ever considered that you can’t “pick up” or cleanse yourself pure? You can try all you want, but humans are a mess, made in the image of God, but soiled and full of boils. You may call this a negative view of life. But no, it is the truthful view of life. We are all walking in darkness until we see the light. Isaiah the Prophet said of us all, The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before youas.people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.
Are you walking in darkness and seemingly hopeless? For most of us it is both. But it does not need to stay that way. God accepts you the way you are; He just wants you to follow Him.
Many of you are familiar with the “Love Chapter” in the Bible, which is 1 Corinthians 13. It tells us that without love we have or gain nothing. In this place we see dimly as through a looking glass darkly, imperfectly. Life is messy and full of molasses. It sticks onto you and attracts bugs, then decays before it goes away. So what do you say, should we find another way?
The Apostle Paul had a way with words, particularly making important concepts very clear, like sin. “As it is written: ‘“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness…For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”’ (Romans 3:10-18,23). All is everyone of us. There is no cure on earth; we cannot clean up ourselves. Listen to 5 minutes of TV news and you will hear and see, but how can it be? We have lost the key to see while we are on the tee you and me. But start with a humble step of recognizing and repenting that you are unclean. Don’t run, for this is no fun, yes we all are undone. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”(1 John 1:9). Who is He? He who made you, is He who can bathe you. Who? Love, Perfect Love is who made and molds you. Paul prayed for you who don’t know this love from above:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-18).
What kind of love lives and gives? Seuss says, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”Here’s the hard part, the doctor says, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”You can do this hard thing. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” It is a choice, “If you never did you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.”What is this you say, “Think and wonder, wonder and think.” Where do I go and what do I do? “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”Dr. Seuss would say, “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”What direction to take or for goodness sake? “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!”Some 2,700 years ago Isaiah said, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left you will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘“ this is the way, walk in it”’(Isaiah 30:21). Seuss might say, “Which is the way? There’s only one way, this is the way.”
So don’t be confused. There may be many animals in the zoo, but God made them all including you too. Don’t be confused, just choose or lose, its not a ruse. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6). What’s the way you say? He’s the way; don’t be dismayed, don’t be afraid. Love will show you the way to stay. Once you say, I know He’s the way, I want this way, you’ll know the way to obey, just say. And once it’s OK because there’s no other way, you’ll be forever above the fray. Dr. Seuss would say of the way you now say, “Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope...“Oh, the thinks you can think!”
So what to do with all the wrappings all brand new? “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”He’ll make you brand new. He gives you His love, which after all is from above. “You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.”