Monday, November 15, 2010

But Officer…

I have been stopped three times for speeding. Each time I was guilty. Only one of those times did I get a ticket, the other two were warnings. A speeding ticket is a limited measurement of activity. It only captures the moment at which the radar beamed onto my car and measured my speed. In that slice of time I was guilty. It doesn’t go back five minutes or ahead three when my speed may have been closer to what was posted. It snaps a picture of that instant.

The harsh reality of instants is: we either are or we are not. Instants don’t care about was or will be.

Nobody wants their lives measured by the instants. We want an average. Yesterday I was better than I am today and tomorrow I’ll be better than yesterday. So for three days, I’ll average out pretty good. Today—not so hot. Is that acceptable…two out of three? Well if every day is equal in value, probably. But what if today is a really important day and I give in when the spiritual battle rages? Does the snapshot of today ruin everything? I am guilty, you know.

Which makes me wonder: does each day have its own requirements? Micah said walking humbly with the Lord is what God expects. Walking humbly requires me to take responsibility for what happens in the instants of my life, not justifying them by wanting them overlooked or averaged into the bigger picture. If I am caught speeding, I recognize the mistake and admit it. Walking humbly also allows me to accept the forgiveness necessary to get back on the road and keep going—albeit measurably slower than before.

If I have expectations for myself that include some sort of unrealistic perfection, I have deluded myself. I cannot reach those expectations, not every day, every moment. So I’d better choose humility and be real. After all, God’s got a thing for authenticity.

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