If there’s something important to be done, you can find me somewhere in a back room doing something completely unrelated. This is a short history of Me, Coping: We have a new home fellowship starting in three hours? I think I’ll reupholster this old chair. My son is getting married this week? I’ve been meaning to build a brick planter for the front of the house. And- VERY recently- We move next week? Well this would be a really good time to spray paint every lamp, chair and-oh, maybe this ugly pair of shoes. Hey- if I put that blue tape around my toes, I could spray paint my toenails at the same time.
This is not to say I don’t get things done, eventually- but usually not before I go to John and whimper, “Tell me again what I’m supposed to be doing?” Then he puts his arms around me, and prays the prayer that always works: “HELP HER.” I’m not alone in this. When things got too up close and personal for the woman at the well, she diverted the focus with a theological discussion regarding the most appropriate place to worship. Maybe, like me, she wasn’t aware of her modus operandi when dealing with uncomfortable issues, be it physical or spiritual. When I sense the Lord exhorting me to change, for instance- to love more; I divert attention by acting the part, all the while trying to drown out the screetching of my fingernails on my blackboard heart. Not that going through the motions of duty are bad, it’s just that I cannot stop there. Law must always lead to Spirit, or I’ll eventually just up and quit. So I put down my staple gun, my bricks and my spray paint and, whimpering, pray another prayer that always works, “Tell me again what I’m supposed to be doing?” We serve a God who knows us better than we know ourselves. A God who helps us cope with our changing lives, by changing hearts.
Ps 51:6 Behold you desire truth in the innermost being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.