Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stepping on the Cracks

I was home the other night, very tired but not sleepy, and caught a few minutes of a movie I had seen before but not in awhile. It asks a simple yet heart stopping  question that is made up of the title of the movie itself  –  “what if this is As Good as It Gets? “
Jack Nicholson is a hard edged slightly over middle aged man with sand paper issues out the ying yang. Helen Hunt is the waitress he finds that he has an affinity for and she can’t stand him – at first. It doesn’t take too long to figure out her issues are as numerous as his, and I’m thinking the tension between them can somewhat be attributed to the fact that he only reminds her of her own – besides the  fact he’s so in every way crudely direct, I think that’s what bothers her the most about him actually. J
Anywhoo, one of the things that is most visually obvious things about Melvin (Jack’s character) throughout the movie is the obsessive need he has to not step on cracks of any kind – random cracks in the sidewalk or any pavement, the perpendicular grout lines formed by tile or pavers, or even parallel lines formed where one flooring type meets another – basically he avoids any inconsistency in where and how he moves or where places his feet as he makes his way through the day.
Hmmmm… Sound familiar to anyone? Maybe it’s just me.
I have found myself resistant to change. I have been fearful of things that change the direction or course of the path I am comfortable with. I have become paranoid about making missteps that could cause me to stumble or fail. So much at times that I kept my head down and focused on making sure I kept things within my control (HA!!!!). I have done it to the point that, like Melvin, I became obsessed with it in such a way that at the very least I have wasted time not seeing what would enhance my life and relationships until it was almost too late. And at the very worst I have missed opportunities God has for me to do great things, to become a better person, maybe find a relationship that could change my life, and to know Him with a faith and trust in Him in a way I never could otherwise.

So often I have kept my head down so I won’t step on a crack. So I won’t look like a fool. So I won’t stumble and fall. I don’t want to mess up and cause anyone any trouble. I definitely don’t want to bring any attention to my shortcoming, heavens no. And I sure don’t want to embarrass myself or my family.

What I am saying really, is that I’m not willing to let the plans God has for me begin to fulfill His desire to bless me.

We all quote “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
But what about verse 10?  “This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised you, and I will bring you home again.
There was definitely a stumbling to get to those plans, a direction that may not have been the best. But God will bless. Even in failure He redirects and brings us back to Himself.
And what a promise here to stand on in verses 12 thru 14 – “In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”
So doesn’t it ring even more true that in good, bad, leaps of faith that result in immediate success or a failing forward, that can know that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28…  It does say everything.
And lets back up to the less quoted  verse before as well  “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.  Romans 8:27.
Even if we step outside the lines of what may have become our own self created path we obsess with adhering to, and even if we mess it all up, we can be assured HE knows our intentions to bring Him glory and do good in His name – AND OUR GOD WILL ALWAYS REDEEM!

Proverbs 16:9 says that “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.”

What if the detour I am afraid of really is His perfect for me? Where I will grow the most?
“Every place where you set your foot will be yours…” Deut. 11:24a

Father help step on some cracks today J

Joyful on the Journey