Phlebotomic is a blog experiment that seeks to gather multiple perspectives around a common prompt, which is provided weekly.

Last week's prompt was "Beauty"...

This week's prompt is "Path"...

03 January 2009

Resolution: Failure is an Opportunity to Hear His Voice

Well, what the word "resolution" brought to my mind was 1) how quickly I make them 2) how quickly I break them.

I am also reminded of an experience I had just about 2 weeks ago. I was having one of my many frustrated conversations with our Lord through the medium of singing and playing the guitar--mostly because I find it difficult to speak openly and honestly other ways. And I was telling Him, "Lord, so many people live a great portion of their lives on this earth as Your children, and yet they only live with half, or at least less than the whole, of their hearts. I don't want to live like that. If my life is going to be like that, Lord, than just kill me now and take me up, because anything less is just a waste of Your time."

Then, I just felt like the appropriate response was to shave my head. I can't tell you exactly why. Sometimes people shave their heads to signify vows they've taken. This wasn't exactly a vow. It wasn't even really a clearly defined resolution. It was just a desire that I was expressing, and maybe this was the way to mark the occasion.

Well, I took my electric razor with me into the bathroom and began to shave my head. The only thing was, half-way through the process my razor ran out of electricity. Plus, I had to go meet somebody for lunch just a half an hour from the time my razor spazzed out on me. So, I left the job half done, put on a beanie, and went to go meet my friend. I left the beanie on all day.

The next morning, I got up and spent some time talking with the Lord.
"Mark, why won't you take off your beanie when you go outside?" He said.
"Because I'll look like an idiot. People will laugh at me," I replied.
"What if you'd shaved your whole head? Would you be afraid to take off the beanie then?"
"No," I said.
"Well, why not?"
"Because, even though it'd draw attention and look a bit strange--as most people with shaved heads here in this country are criminals--it wouldn't be as strange as a half-shaved head. If I finished the job, at least people would recognize I have made a total committment to a completely shaved head. People would see me only as a bit strange, not as a fool."

And then I remembered what He said in Luke:
"If any one of you wants to build a house, won't he first consider all the materials he needs and see whether he has everything necessary to finish it? Otherwise, he'll start building and have to stop before he's finished. Then, people will say, 'Look! This man started to build a house but isn't able to finish it!'"

I recharged my electric razor and finished the job I'd started.

Sometimes, however well intentioned we may be, we can make resolutions too hastily and end up failing to live up to them, which can bring embarassment, discouragement and even sometimes a sense of self-loathing. But, thank the Name that He sees our resolutions in light of the truth, and when we don't follow through He takes advantage of the opportunity to speak to us and teach us. Peter said he'd follow Him unto death, and in fact all the students said the same thing. And what happened? Peter denied Him three times and all the others forsook Him and fled. But, actually, the Lord knew the truth of the situation--Peter and the students' weakness. And what was His response? A loving reacceptance, an overlooking of the failure to keep one's word, and new strength through His Spirit for the future.
"He is mindful that we are but dust." -Psalm 103

1 comment:

  1. this is exactly why i hoped you would join this journey...

    thank you.