Recently, I went snowboarding with the men in my family and had a wonderful time, minus the crowded lift lines. The sun was out, snow was pretty good, it wasn’t too cold and I stayed warm throughout the day (except for getting some snow down my pants). The toxic desire part, however, happens for me when I want to keep the same speed as my teenage sons. They have been skiing for more than ten years and they’re very proficient and fast. The problem is that I also like to go really fastand watching them jet ahead of me, is like throwing down the gauntlet with an irresistable challenge. But alas, from innumerable injuries that need no details here, I’ve concluded that snowboarding as fast as my teenage sons isn’t good for my health, regardless of what I want.
So let’s remember that not all of our desires come from God (Ps 37:4) and let’s stay mindful not to allow the toxic desires to override common sense and obedience to God’s Word 🙂
When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, I spread a rumor about my teacher that she was drunk. She was behaving strangely & given my limited experience in life, I tried to explain her unusual behavior, not considering that my explanation was slanderous & inappropriate. The next day, I was summoned to the principal’s office where I was severly reprimanded & returned to class with great embarrassment. My take away lesson was to speak less & think more – not a bad lesson in general.
Sometimes we are too quiet. Sometimes we need to speak out & be an advocate for ourselves, for those who are less fortunate & to oppose disgraceful & belittling situations, events & circumstances. The Bible has many examples of situations where people spoke out on behalf of the downtrodden, disenfranchised & belittled. This is a very significant reason that I’m so passionate about our work with nightcare – the shelter & safety we give to the babies of sex workers while they work. I’m speaking out on behalf of these babies, who have no power or ability to articulate their needs, hurts and concerns.
Generally, I don’t consider myself to be overly cautious. I like to race my grocery cart in the parking lots, I like to snowboard super fast, I like to travel to remote places, and I like to take on challenges, usually. But here’s something to be careful about, that’s been rolling around in my mind of late:
Be careful that you don’t limit God based on your understanding
I know that God has given us a brain & that we’re supposed to use it to bring maximum glory to God. I know that many of us have amazing talents and abilities with our brainpower, analysis skills and learning abilities. There can be, however, a down side to relying solely on our brains for interacting with God. I believe that our brains are designed to function and excel in a finite and concrete world. When we try to use our brains to understand God, I think this is when we can get fuzzy and murky. Of course we must use our brains as much as possible, but connecting with God can’t be limited solely to our brains. It’s been my experience that most of the deepest connections I have with God go beyond my brain & begin to explore the regions of the heart. To me, that’s the greatest adventure of my life 🙂