So, I’m in the hot seat this morning; have been for about a week. Now my coffee, all creamy and with just enough sugar, is perfect. However, I am not. Grab you a cup, and sit down with me while I tell you where I messed up at a couple weeks ago.
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
Proverbs 15:1 KJV
First off, the thing you should know about me is that if you tell me I’ve done something wrong, I need to know exactly what the thing is that I did to cause offense. I have no problems admitting when I’m wrong. But, the burden of proof, at least for me, lies with the accuser. And, such was the incident that occurred about two weeks ago. I was accused of doing something wrong, and I wanted details.
I first sent out a text via Messenger, and I got no response. I won’t lie to you, that aggravated me. At home, I squirmed with thoughts of what this person could be so offended about. “I just ain’t gone worry about it.” I told myself that for hours before I decided to place a personal call to the person, leave a voice message(knowing they were not going to answer their phone right away for me), and ask them to call me to talk about whatever problems there were between us, and before God. I never want to get myself in trouble with God, and to be quite honest, the thought of it scared me.
Later that evening, the person’s number came up on the caller I.D. I readied myself to answer, I thought, by taking a deep breath, and asking the Lord to take me through. But, I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready at all.
“Yeah, this is me!” The person started off the conversation by barking the words at me.
The words hit me wrong, right off the bat. I tried to recover quickly.
“Oh, you’re barking at me already” I said jokingly, and with a bit of a laugh.
That didn’t work.
The person began to scold me with condemnation in their voice. They didn’t sound to me like they called to discuss. They sounded like they called to further accuse me, and to chastise, and to let me know that Hell was the only place for me. There was no forgiveness in the persons voice. And in my life, I’ve had enough of that. So, immediately I started barking back.
“Well, I’ll apologize if that’s what you want me to do. But, I really don’t feel like I did anything wrong.”
Sitting on the edge of my bed, my body shaking with anger, tears filling up my eyes, and a knot easing into my throat, I had said the words that this person did not expect to hear. The conversation was shot. There was no correcting it. There was no reeling it back in from there. I never brought in the Word of God, or asked if we could just stop and pray. And, this person didn’t either. All was lost. There was no fixing it.
“Well, I’ll tell you what. I’m done talking about it.” Now, they seemed even madder than I was. But that, I told myself, wasn’t my problem.
I followed the instructions the person had given me out of respect. But, I was mad about having to do so. If it’s one thing I get tired of doing, it is apologizing for just being me. I really get tired of apologizing. It seems perpetual, and I get sick of it. So, all that evening, I was mad that I had asked for an explanation. I was mad that the person called me with the “bark” in their voice, and I was mad that I had apologized even though I didn’t feel like I did anything wrong. I was blanketed in anger, and even that made me mad.
Then, I went to the scheduled Bible plan I had on the Bible App on my phone. Let me tell you something, you can get mad at man’s correction all you want to. But, when God corrects you, when He places you under conviction about a thing, you will break.
“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful”
Matthew 13:22 NKJV
As I read over The Parable of the Sower, the words in red broke me down. And, I’m an English major, so there was no denying that I understood the message that Jesus was trying to convey. I got it. Now, I am going to try and get you to understand it the way that I did.
Life, and It‘s Troubles, are hard roads to navigate. Along the way, I have mastered the art of self preservation. I am like a porcupine. And, when I even have a thought that I am in danger of getting hurt, I ball myself up, and let those thorns do what they are supposed to do. I let the thorns protect me. And, that ‘s where I went wrong. I became thorny ground. Even if the person that called me was calling to say something that would eventually help me down the road, even if they had interjected with the Word, I allowed myself to become so ready to protect myself, so balled up, so thorny, that I wouldn’t have heard, or received it, anyway.
“Lord, forgive me” I said out loud. “I know, I know. I didn’t help the situation. It’s all on me. It’s about my own soul, and once again, Lord, I’m so sorry. Please forgive me” I cried.
And, there I was, apologizing again. Only this time, it hurt instead of making me mad. I felt so much like I would never get this thing right because of the damage that’s been there for so long. But, I didn’t choose to give up. I chose to try harder. I don’t want God’s Word to fall on me, and get choked out. I want it to heal me; make me better. And, I don’t want to be unfruitful. I want to yield enough fruit to feed the masses, if it be found in the will of the Lord.
And so I took my place in the hot seat. And, I let it burn me up. Because, sometimes you have to do that. You have to take what’s coming to you like a woman, hurt, pain, the whole nasty thing, in order to become who you are meant to be. It’s all about growth. And, wherever your journey takes you, if you cannot adapt, if you cannot grow, if you cannot change, you will be doomed to keep passing the same rocks, the same signs, and the same pathways over, and over again, until you are actually ready to advance.
I think that’s a lesson worth keeping in mind.
Until our next cup;