We Got It All Worked Out

“Me and God got it all worked out.”  She said this to me as she took a long drag on her cigarette and tried to balance her beer with the other hand already occupied by a plate of food.  My response was, “I am so glad you do…” but before I could utter another word, she spoke again.  “I smoke too much… but me and God got it all worked out.”  “Okay,” I responded and sure enough came another confession.  “I drink too much… but me and God got it all worked out.”  “Fantastic,” I replied… pausing to wait for another confession, it came.  “I am pretty rough on my kids…” her voice trailed off and her head dropped, then as if she were trying to convince her own mind and heart of the veracity of her claim, she spoke a familiar sentence, “but me and God got it all worked out.”

This exchange took place in my front yard a few years back.  One of my neighbors found out I was a pastor and in the midst of a neighborhood BBQ decided to let me know that she and God “had it all worked out.”

Guess what?  Go on, guess.  Okay, I’ll tell you.  We’re not much different; “working it out” with God and all.  We might not be as obvious as my neighbor, but we do it none the less.  Here is what “me and God got it all worked out” actually means.  It means there is something or many something’s God is talking to me about, but instead of dealing with it, I dabble at it and call it good.  Then we sort of fall on “Grace” and say in a whispering tone… “he understands, we got it all worked out.”

How do we view money?  “I give when I can but me and God got it all worked out.”  He understands I need the vacation, the car payment, the credit card debt, the Starbucks coffee every day…  (in a whispering tone) “we got it all worked out.”

How do we view our bible?  “I read it when I can remember but me and God got it all worked out.”  He understands how busy I am and how tired I am in the morning and evening…  (in a whispering tone) “we got it all worked out.”

How do we view our neighbor?  “I wave to them when I see them but me and God got it all worked out.”  He understands how noisy their dog is and how busy we are and how difficult the neighbor on the right is and well, my life is filled with church, bible studies and kids sports…  (in a whispering tone) “we got it all worked out.”

I’ll stop.  After all this is my story too and I just can’t take it.  I might have to change… but how?

What my neighbor didn’t know and what many of us do not know or just forget is that “working it out” is not what God has in mind.  What God has in mind is two words.  Love.  (I know that is just one but it lets me say it again)  LOVE!  Jesus boiled it down to this… love God and then love others.  God’s knows that on my part, I can’t work it out.  God knows on my part if left to working it out, I will live forever in guilt, defiance, frustration, shame, disobedience, legalism…  All of these lack love.

I told my neighbor “I don’t know the deal you made with God, but I do know the deal he makes with you.  He knows your name and he loves you.”  With tears running down her face she said, can I come to your church someday?  With tears running down mine I said yes.  She eventually received Christ into her life.  So try this today, instead of working it out, how about we let Him love us and then we will love him back so much it changes us?  Nothing to work out, just love.  Off… we go now.

~ by OFF we go now on September 15, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: