Fixing the Real Problem

Let’s just start right off with a little bit of an embarrassing story, how does that sound?

A few weeks ago, I was doing a Health and Safety inspection at WEC; tracking through our building and looking for any potential hazards. I’m looking through offices and workshops and marking my findings, when I feel this little irritation on my neck. No big deal, I brush it away, but it keeps scratching me. Eventually I realize it’s the tag of my sweater rubbing against the front of my neck – I had put it on backwards. So I do a little arm tuck, turn the shirt around, and we’re good to go. I’m slightly embarrassed that I had walked around all day like that, but I had to get dressed in the dark that morning due to some electrical issues, so I felt like I had a good excuse for my mistake. In my mind, I thought, “This could be a neat little illustration for church; doing something in the dark and not realizing my error until I was in the light”. But that’s not where this story ends, and that’s not the lesson we’re learning – today at least.

So I finish my inspection, file the paperwork, and walk home. Once I get there, I tell Mike the funny story of how I didn’t get dressed properly this morning. I tell him about the tag, reach for the front neckline of my sweater, and – dagnabit – there it is again, sitting right at my throat! And I thought, “Did I really over-rotate my sweater when I tried to fix it, and just put it on backwards again??” I no longer had the excuse of getting dressed in the dark, now it was just “one of those days” (You know the ones I’m talking about). And even then, again, I thought, “Surely there’s a Biblical connection here, something about trying to fix a mistake without guidance and just getting into the same mess again”. And maybe that’s what this blog would have been about if the story ended there. But it doesn’t.

The day is coming to a close, I’m relaxing on the couch, and – can you believe it – I feel a little piece of material scratching the front of my neck. “IMPOSSIBLE!”, I think. I have fixed it, and fixed it again, what is going on?? So I look down, and it dawns on me; it had been a cold morning, and I had put on a long sleeve shirt underneath my sweater. And there – staring me in the face – was that itchy, irritating tag. Scoffing at me. I realized that my long-sleeved shirt had been the problem the whole time, and – no matter how many times I adjusted my sweater – it wasn’t going to fix the problem.

And that, my friends, is where we’re landing today. Because I knew I had a problem, and I tried to fix it on the surface, but it wouldn’t matter what I had done because the problem was underneath.

As we’ve looked at the idea of Sacred Selfies – our identity in Christ – I find it can be easy to hear the message and say to myself, “Well, now I’m going to do this thing differently”, or, “I’ll definitely stop [insert bad habit] and start [insert good habit]”. And while that’s not bad, these changed will only be effective if they reflect a change beneath the surface. Our actions reflect our attitude and understanding; what is working in our minds and in our hearts. So this week, I encourage you to ask God to renew your heart and your mind. To remind you of who He is; a gracious, loving and merciful Father. And who you are through Him; a child of God, loved, rescued and redeemed.

Jolene Sanders

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  (John 3:16)

He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.   (John 1:11-13)

No Comments