The Things We Wish Would Stick Like Glue

The things we wish would stick like glue.
They never do.
They never do. - Tiffany Aurora

I wish I learned life lessons more quickly.  The things in life that I seem to learn with a certain amount of speed are the things that don't really matter all that much.  

I learned the lyrics to Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart when I was in high school after listening to it a few times and I can still sing along to it at the top of my lungs when it plays in my car. 

And, in case you were wondering, I sound amazing. 

Within a few weeks of moving to Austin, I learned not to attempt to drive to and from downtown unless it's between the hours of 10AM and 3PM.  "Just stay south of the river," someone told me after I complained about it.  Lesson learned.

But the lessons that I struggle to learn are the ones that are connected to faith and trust in God.  They include the lessons that I should have learned a long time ago about my weaknesses and how they are exploited... mostly by me. 

I often find myself praying, "God, what is wrong with me?  Why am I not getting this?  How long do I have to keep getting this wrong?"  

I've discovered after twenty years of ministry that I'm not alone in this.  

In fact, as I've written here before, none other than the Apostle Paul railed about this when he famously wrote about how he does what he doesn't want to do and doesn't do what he wants to do.  "Oh, wretched man that I am!" He exclaimed. 

The good news is that we don't have to beat ourselves up over and over again for the ways we fall short.  What we ought to be doing instead is something a bit more life-giving: Focus on simply desiring God.  

Fr. Richard Rohr puts it like this: 
Remember, always remember, that the heartfelt desire to do the will of God is, in fact, the truest will of God.  At that point, God has won, and the ego has lost, and your prayer has already been answered. 
As you seek to live more fully into your journey with God, there will be low moments, to be sure.  

But if your "heartfelt desire" is to do God's will, and you remain focused on that desire, what you will soon discover is that shame and guilt will eventually give way to determination, hope, and a willingness to forgive yourself more easily. 

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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