For Lent this year, rather than giving up something, I set a goal for myself. To make some real progress on something that I started, but have been neglecting. I must admit I did not get off to a very good start. Rather than beat myself up over it, I asked myself why am I avoiding this particular journey. I processed the answer through art, as I often do. Hence the drawing below, which I call Annabelle's Box. Which is a take off of the myth of Pandora. (Annabelle, being a recurring character that represents the lost part of ourselves.)
|Click to enlarge|
The simply stated answer being, The task requires facing some difficult questions about myself. I'm sure many believers have some virtual Pandora's box in our lives. That one thing we fear facing because of the pain behind it, and try to pretend is not there. The issue we would just assume leave alone, because we may let loose something too dangerous to contain again. Not that ignoring anything ever helps. It's not as if we have to acknowledge something in order for it to have an adverse effect upon our lives.
Yet, what this attitude may reveal is that we are choosing to believe in the shame, and weakness we feel about ourselves, rather than have faith in God's promises about forgiveness, deliverance, transformation, and the strength he offers those who seek him.
2 Corinthians 4:1-12 & 12:1-10, Psalm 33:1-22, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, Isaiah 53:1-12
Or even worse, we are treating God's comfort as an excuse to avoid, rather than a means to overcome. Take Elijah; for example. When he sat under the broomtree, he was clearly looking for a way out. Like we look for ways out of our spiritual responsibilities, including facing our brokenness. But, what Elijah got was the strength to press on. (1 Kings 19:1-18)
Consider this Jesus may be placing something before you right now, a scar from your past, a self-destructive behavior, an error in the understanding of your beliefs, a bad attitude, an unanswered call, something you want to forever leave locked away in your heart. Like he did with everyone from the teachers of the law, to the rich man in Matthew 19. The question is, will we respond as the pharisees did, and maintain a cosmetic righteousness that only camouflages the wickedness in our hearts. Or will you respond like the woman at the well did, and embrace it as an opportunity to overcome.
I can only image how much these attitudes of avoidance have paralyzed the "Body of Christ." Just imagine what the church could accomplish if we had the courage to finally face ourselves, and deal with the things that impede us.
By the way, I am in deed moving forward on my goal again.