Isaiah 32:17 And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
I have a box. It goes with me every where, every moment of everyday. In it is a filter that sifts sights, sounds, events, and happenings for righteousness. When unrighteousness falls out the bottom, whistles, bells, and alarms go off in my head, my stomach hurts, I get an instant hot flash and feel flushed. All this happens in 5 seconds or less.
I don’t like my filter. Often I think the mesh on my seive’s wire is defective and things I think should be ok hit the cutting room floor . The sound is deafening. I’m the only one that can hear it, of course, but it affects everything around me.
I’ve had to walk out of concerts, ask dates to take me home(teenage years) even had to leave a church service. When I stop participating in whatever was causing the ear-piercing noise, instant peace and calm return. Well, mostly.
If I’m with anyone and their box doesn’t go off, sometimes they are offended that I have to excuse myself. Other times they feel I must be judging them according to my set of filters and won’t accept that I embrace these filters as mine alone. I can’t expect anyone else to hear the sirens designed for my ears.
I’ve tried to leave my box places, muffle it with viable reasons for it’s inaccuracies, ignore it to the very best of my ability until my arm pits are dripping (TMI, huh?), but alas, the box with filter, is part of The Creator’s design. It is an entity that will not be denied. Sigh.
Why am I confessing my box, as I work so hard to camouflage it? I desperately want to blend in with every one and everything around me. I just want to be like everyone else but when I asked Heavenly Dad about it He said,”So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
“For me…” It didn’t say the person beside me, at work, or standing behind the pulpit. “For me” it is sin.
Can I whine just a bit?
“Heavenly Dad, why do I have to feel so… Convicted? Really? Are these things so bad? It seems like it’s OK for other people, so why can’t it be OK for me?”
The toothy grin glints, there’s a sparkle in His eye and He hands me the guide book opened to Ephesians 4:1-5ish “…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
“Tracy, I’m going to remind you of what Archie said to you 20 year ago.”
We had gone out to dinner with a couple from our church when, out of the blue, the gentleman asked for Archie ‘s opinion: What if a person doesn’t consider it a sin to drink alcohol but knows the Bible says,” But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” 1 Corinthians 8:9. He was afraid that the youth he worked with would think poorly of him if they saw him have a beverage with a meal in a restaurant. He wanted to know Archie’s thoughts about driving to the next town to eat so he could be relaxed.
I was shocked by the question and had no idea how he would answer. Arch asked for time to think and pray about it. Heavenly Dad gave him an answer that has remained in my soul and, quite honestly, has determined the gauge of mesh in the box. The answer, over the years, has evolved into more than a quick answer, but a way of life: “Life/decisions shouldn’t be made based on whether it’s ‘right or wrong,’ as we will be living our lives looking for and trying to get as close to the line as possible without crossing it. They are opportunities to choose what is ‘better or best.’ “
I am still a weak human and sometimes fight the pain and ignore the conviction so in the short term I don’t feel uncomfortable and blend in. The long term consequences are the guilt and shame of disobedience. Crap.
Heavenly Dad, put His arm around my shoulder, looked me directly in the eyes and said,”Search you heart, mind and soul: ‘if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve,’Joshua 24:15”
“Yes, Dad. YOU have my heart. I’ll love and serve You forever.”
Until Next time: Blessings