Scripture: Romans 7:13-25
Key verse: (15 ) I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
Reflection: My recipe for a great start to the day is to get up before the sun and head to the wellness Outreach center to workout. After a good sweat and hot shower, I walk out of that building smiling as I watch the sun rise and smell the sweet Carolina air, knowing that I already have a win for the day. I’m not sure my feet even touch the parking lot pavement — I’m so light and pure. I absolutely love this feeling, so of course I go the Outreach center every single morning. Well, almost every day. Ok. I am absolutely there once a week. When I’m around. And not too tired. Why did I even start to write this?…
Whether we are trying to do what feels good or attempting to do what is good we run into the same obstacle: ourselves. Why is that? Freud said we all have a death drive. Joseph Campbell said we might be on the wrong path if trouble keeps occurring. My rugby coach just called it being lazy. Mom said it’s a lack of focus.
Paul calls it sin.
Knowing may be half the battle but that also means there is half a battle left to fight and we don’t always do what we know we need to do, want to do, and we are left wondering what in heaven’s name can we do?! All of us, at the peak of our game or in the waning of our days, the taut or the tired, the working hard or hardly working, we are all of us frail flesh. And as we learn early on in Genesis chapter three, sin is lurking at the door and damned if we don’t let in (and maybe we could also say let it out) more times than we can count.
The early church referred to followers of Jesus as people of the Way. I am never unmoved by that. We are on the Way. It’s a long and dusty way sometimes but we are never by ourselves. There is the One who manages to be beside us, before us, and always a little bit ahead of us. He’s picking us up and getting us back at it.
Prayer: Lord: Help me, help me, help me. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. Amen. (prayer by Anne Lamott)
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].