Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? If there is something in your life that stands between you and your commitment to do God’s will, how eager are you to cut that out of your life? Does God expect you to do that, or is he tolerate of our will to enjoy ourselves no matter what?
My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I do with my right hand as the left hemisphere of my brain dominates my motor skills. Along with nearly 90% of the population I reach for things, pick things up, grasp things, and write things down with my right hand. It’s my doing hand since most things I do begin with my right hand. A number of years ago I sprained my right wrist and was forced to have my right arm in a sling with my right wrist tightly wrapped in an ace bandage. For a week or so I was relegated to doing with my left hand, my non-dominant hand, as my right hand was out of commission completely for a time. Many things that I had done with my right hand I did with my left, but clumsily. Signing my name with the left hand was nearly impossible during rehab since this was an automatic reflex with my right that I’d never learned to do with my left. I even found picking things up or holding on to them firmly was more difficult with my left hand. When everything was back to normal after several weeks I gained a new appreciation for my doing right hand. Many things that I was forced to learn to do with my left hand were so much easier to do with my right that I developed a new appreciation for the deftness of my right hand once the sling was gone and the bandage had been abandoned for good.
It takes discipline to train your non-doing hand to be the dominant hand. It takes repetition, as it does with most things in life that compete with our will to do things the right but more difficult way, when another way is easier and more fun.
Here’s a story. I spent much of my 9th summer on a bicycle. About a mile from our house the road went down a steep hill and turned sharply at the bottom. Coasting down the hill one morning, I felt my gathering speed to be ecstatic. To give up this ecstasy by applying brakes seemed an absurd self-punishment. So I resolved to simultaneously retain my speed and negotiate the corner. My ecstasy ended seconds later when I was propelled a dozen feet off the road into the woods. I was badly scratched and bleeding, and the front wheel of my new bike was twisted beyond use from its impact against a tree. I had been unwilling to suffer the pain of giving up my ecstatic speed in the interest of maintaining my balance around the corner. I learned, however, that the loss of balance is ultimately more painful than the giving up required to maintain balance. (M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled.)
Matthew 5:30 tells us: “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.” What is Jesus asking? Many things in life serve to block our spiritual mission and his call to each of us to abide in him and preach the Good News of salivation to others. It takes discipline and practice to commit ourselves 100% to this calling, the kind of discipline that conflicts with many things in this life that we’d rather do but shouldn’t. We need to train ourselves to put away, cut off, those things which interfere with our calling to follow Christ. It’s a lesson we have to continually learn and relearn; just like it was with training my left hand to do what my right did naturally. To negotiate the curves and corners of our lives, we must continually give up parts of ourselves if we aspire to the perfection God is calling for us to achieve.
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We pray. Thank you Lord for challenging us to do your will with a high rate of perfection. Forgive us Father when lack the motivation to discipline ourselves to devote ourselves completely to the spiritual work you have called us to do. If there are things in our lives that stand between us and you, please move us to put them away, cut them off, so that our level of devotion to your Word is always without fault. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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