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I can't help it

(The following post may just be for my benefit but I hope it comes across in your situation as well.)

I just returned from a morning work session at my local Starbucks. On my way back the truck in front of me hit his breaks rather hard causing me to say "WHA..." in the car. (I didn't actually say anything but I was surprised none-the-less.

I look up to see a man in the middle of the road attempting to cross. He was standing on the solid yellow lines that divided the 4 lane road. The driver of the truck allowed the man to skidoodle his way across the road. Here is what I couldn't help...

I observed the man attempt to jog across the street (a kind way of respecting the traffic that stopped for him). He has a cigarette in his left hand and he reached down with his right hand to grab a hold of his falling sweat pants. He gets to the other side of the road and hops up on the curb. He's noticeably out of breath from this "exercise" of a 20 foot jog. As I watched him reach up right hand up to his chest almost to catch his breath, he takes his left hand and shoves his cigarette into his mouth.

I couldn't help but think... (My mind works this way and I haven't figured out why) "There has got to be an illustration!"

As I hit the gas to continue my drive it hit me so quickly. I thought to myself "We are just like this guy." We go to God and say "God, my lungs are tight, I'm out of spiritual shape, I need you to fill me up...." We sing songs that proclaim "We are Hungry, We are Thirsty, We are Hungry for more of You!" We cry out "This is the Air I Breathe... This is my daily bread...." And we say to God, "Please fill my lungs with you... I'm tired" ---- much as the man running such a short distance became so easily tired. We (like this man) at the moment when we know we need fresh air take our cigarette (whatever temptation or addictions we hold on to) and shove them in our mouths.

We fill up our lungs with the very garbage that keeps out the fresh air. We know mutual exclusivity (No two objects making claims on the same thing can exist at the same time) prevents us from having both smoke filled lungs and fresh-air filled lungs. So the idea of some guy puffing on a cigarette at the very moment he needs replacement oxygen seems crazy. Do we realize this during our days as Christ-followers when we thirst for a close relationship with a holy God yet we suck on our cigarette of sin?

I think we're all guilty on this one. For me at least it hit me as to how stupid I can be sometimes no matter how smart I think I am. God is so cool and so humbling.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Friday, April 01, 2005

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