Friday, April 19, 2013

Rotten Soul-Stink

I smelled really, really, really bad. I wouldn't be surprised if my odor garnered the attention of some local flies. As I sat there in one of my school's student-organized worship nights, I tried my best to stay an adequate distance from people so that they wouldn't think I was some crazed, wandering vagrant who believed that showers were the devil.

I had spent the three hours prior to this event longboarding at my local skate park with a bunch of guys from the longboarding club at my school. The sun was hot and there was more wetness on our shirts than we were drinking. Before coming out to skate, I thought to myself, "Self, you probably won't be there that long. You could go skate, take a shower, and make it back in time for the worship nights."

Well, let's just say I was right. Except for that one teeny-weeny part where I was actually wrong. Which was the whole "take a shower part."

So, considering the fact that I desperately wanted to check out what this whole worship night was about, I resigned myself to going without bathing. And as I stood there, (near the back of the room, where the smell would offend the least amount of people) I realized just how rank I truly was. I think it had to do with the fact that, since I was finally able to stand still for a few moments, my stench was finally able to catch up with me.

Then, it kinda hit me that my outer stench matched my inner soul-stink. Knowing all of the weaknesses and cycles of sin I was beginning to let creep in, it made sense. Knowing my recent failures at pleasing the Only One Who deserved being pleased, I faltered. So often, people look at me, with all of my writing, ministry involvement, and charisma, and they don't realize just how messed up I really am. How I consistently fail at doing the things I encourage others to accomplish. And so, I sat there wondering what God would do with this rusted-over, rotten, maggot-filled, good-for-nothing pump we call a heart.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor. 12)
Earlier this week, I was listening to a sermon by Matt Chandler and he said, "People will always be more encouraged by your failures than by your successes." I guess it helps people to see that you're not different than any other shlub walking in weakness. They get to see that God uses anyone, regardless of their place in life.
"I think many of us try to escape from life when we are at the end of ourselves- ‘resting‘ through quiet times and attempting to get our hearts into a good place again so that we can go out and ‘do ministry’. But it seems to me that God doesn’t need us to be in a healthy spiritual state to use us for His kingdom. He wants us to offer ourselves exactly as we are- broken, weary, tired, frustrated, even angry- and trust that He is going to be the power working through us." (Annie Heathorn: The World Race)
I have little else to say other than this: God uses everyone. He even uses those with a rusted-over, rotten, maggot-filled, good-for-nothing heart. Which coincidentally ends up being everyone. He will pick up the fight when you finally realize that all your efforts to win are futile. Let God fight, and let God win.

I hear He tends to do that. Even with unwashed skaters.


Post a Comment