My wife was doing a craft with our girls today (mostly because that is just the kind of mom that she is and partially because like activities maintain a sense of sanity throughout the winter) when she noticed a familiar phenomenon. The craft required that the girls place beads on a string to make a bracelet or necklace. One of our girls picked up the lacing thing very quickly and was off and running. Her twin sister, however, didn't seem to have the same mastery. That is when Jen noticed something hauntingly familiar.
When my one daughter had tried for a few minutes to place the beads on the string as instructed but with no avail, she simply reverted to what her Fall-inflicted human nature said she should do - she settled. She accepted less than the best. She shifted the win. Whatever you want to call it, my daughter flipped from lacing beads to organizing beads in the little metal pan. She couldn't master what was new to her and, rather than fail, she simply reverted back to sorting and organizing and categorizing and color-matching and all the things that she new she could do.
It's hauntingly familiar because that is a part of our common, broken humanity. We settle for less than God's best. We punt at fourth and long when God knows (though its seemingly unattainable) that we're about to get a first down. We aren't willing to let God use us as a medium to create a masterpiece that we can't see or conceive. It's a fear of failure of sorts, yes. But it's more than that. It's a sign that our self-reliance is more important than a God-dependence. And while that is nothing new, it is frightening for me to see it spring up in my daughter so early.
In a few weeks we'll embark on this year's all-church journey, Free. We'll be looking at ourselves in light of Jesus' promise that His Truth would bring freedom. As I think about my daughter and her simple shift this morning, I find myself thinking also about how I have shifted and, therefore, experience bondage rather than Freedom. I want to be Free. I think we all do.
If you're aren't in a group yet, don't forget to contact us and we'll be happy to get you into a group. Hey, you're always invited to our group (Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.). If you're in a group, I hope your group will take the challenge to go through Free with the rest of us.
We will know the Truth and the Truth will set us Free. (Jesus, John 8:32)