Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Caught In The Crossfire

I stood on the sidewalk looking at the lawn sprinklers going in every direction. How was I going to get past that mess of water? I strategically planned my path and headed up the stairs and into the water fray. I did pretty good until a rogue sprinkler spray entered the mix. I stood there for a moment planning my next move and as a sprinkler spray headed my way, I backed up. I was met with cold water on my side. Retreat…retreat…retreat! 

I planned, I plotted and I still got wet. Sorta how life feels right now. You plan, you plot and yet, something you didn’t see coming, zero’s in on you, and suddenly you find yourself in the mix of whatever it is. 

I had choices to this water dilemma. I could haphazardly make my way through the sprinkler system and take my chances again or change direction. I opted for the latter.

I could’ve let that ruin my entire day. I could’ve grumbled and complained to anyone who would listen, but where would that have gotten me? I couldn’t change the fact the sprinklers won.  So I moved on. I wasn’t gonna let something as minimal as getting a little wet steal my joy. 

A couple years ago, I don’t know if I would’ve let it go that easy. I may have called the building and grounds department and blamed them. If they wouldn’t have listened, I may have loudly voiced my disgruntledness to my boss and coworkers trying to gain their sympathy and asked them to jump on my victim bandwagon with me. I may even have written a “politically” correct email. I may even have carried the disgruntledness home with me. Or better still; fire it up on social media. 

It’s a pretty easy thing to do these days. Riling up someone with your opinion is as easy as lighting a match. It’s almost as if people can’t put the drama down. Did you know you can become addicted to drama and chaos? Did you know once that happens you find ways to drum up drama? 

Why would anyone do that? Because that’s how your brain was trained. And once you get used to drama you don’t know what to do when things are quiet. Quiet becomes uncomfortable. Quiet in your mind, means a storm is brewing. So before the storm comes to you, you become the storm. It becomes a matter of “control.” 

I was enlighted of this fact after I started reading a book called “Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics.” by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden. 

I was a bit shocked to find out the way I grew up had such an impact on me, that it wasn’t everyone else that was the problem. It was me. I unconsciously looked for ways to stir up trouble. 

As long as I was the one creating it, no one could come at me. They were too busy trying to get outta my way. And I didn’t see it. 

I not only exhausted myself with all the drama. I exhausted everyone around me. There’s a reason we’re told by the Apostle Paul to:

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing,”

Philippians 2:14 (NIV)

This came from a man who spent the better part of his life in and out of prison. PRISON. 

Grumbling, complaining, and arguing leads to division. You know who loves it when we’re divided? Satan. He kicks back and laughs his fool head off when he can cause us to turn against one another. 

What happens when we’re divided? I’ll tell you. All the sprinklers come after you all at once and before you know it, you’re sitting high atop a pile of offense and thinking you’re better than anyone else. 

We stop learning. We become know-it-alls based on the rhetoric of hype, shock and awe. 

We become distant. 

We shut down. 

We isolate. 

We become complacent. 

We believe the lie “this is as good as it gets.’ 

We lose hope. 

We shut ourselves in. 

We get caught up in our own head and thoughts. The lie that nobody cares runs rampant through our brains. 

The darkness closes in. 

The light at the end of the proverbial tunnel gets dimmer. 

Does any of that sound familiar? We weren’t made to isolate. We were made for community. To be part of something good that feeds our soul. Not something negative that causes division. Look where that division has gotten us today. 

To be mature in Christ means that we can disagree with one another and still be in relationship with each other. We have so much to learn from one another. 

You won’t learn if you’re looking through the lens of grumbling, complaining and arguing. Because at that point, the only opinion that matters is your own. You may know a lot, but I daresay, you don’t know it all. 

It’s really very simple. You either bring unity or division to the situation. It’s your choice. Now that I know what peace over drama feels like, I choose peace. 

It’s not to say I still don’t get fired up over things, but I stop and ask myself how important this is going to be in 1 year. Because,  A LOT can change in a year. I found staying frustrated and angry does exactly what the enemy wants, it steals my peace and joy. 

He’s stolen enough from me. It’s time to make a stand. It’s time to rise up and put an end to his nonsense and claim the victory that’s already mine and yours in Christ. 

Let’s look at the reasons why it’s beneficial to stop the grumbling and arguing. 

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.”

Philippians 2:14-16

I don’t know about you, but I think the Apostle Paul was onto something life changing. Who wants to run or labor in vain? No thanks! I’d rather shine this little light of mine and bring the hope and love of Jesus Christ to the masses! 

Keep shining my friends, it’s not in vain! God be glorified! 

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