There was an old country song that went like that. I just went to listen to it on YouTube...what a sad, sad song. And yet so many people, in one way or another, are living like that song.
Today, our 9-year-old son was having trouble with his school. I don't mean trouble understanding--he understood perfectly well what he was supposed to be doing. He just didn't want to do it. The conversation went something like this:
Mom: Are you still working on that math?!?
Son: I just can't do it! (In a very dramatic, whiney voice).
Mom: Do you need help?
Son: No, I just keep getting distracted! I just can't concentrate. There are just too many other things on my computer that I want to do, like play with fonts and colors. And I think you need to delete this stupid checkers game!
So, I decided maybe it was time for a timer. "See how much you can get done in 15 minutes," I told him. (And I proceeded to tell him every few minutes how much time he had left). That didn't work. "Okay," I said, "I think maybe you just need a break." The break didn't really help either. By this time, he had resigned himself to the fact that school just probably wasn't going to get done at all. There was just no way.
Then...(cue heavenly lights and angels singing)...Grandpa called. "Are the boys done with school? I'd like to take them for the afternoon." Suddenly, the poor child who was doomed to be stuck in the same math lesson for eternity was ablaze with motivation. "I can do this!" was now his mantra. Guess how long it took? Yup. Less than 15 minutes.
Oh, and how there was a lesson in this for all of us, I think. I know sometimes I get *really* distracted by things that aren't even necessary or important. The other day, I spent way too much time looking up "stuff" online. What a time-killer that can be! You know, the enemy of our souls just loves it when we get "sucked in" like that. It reminds me of the cartoon, "Larry Boy and the Bad Apple". (You should watch it if you haven't--even if you are an adult.)
See, even though we are all grown up, we still struggle with the same things that my little guy was struggling with today. And as we grow up, it usually gets worse. We end up getting involved in addictions...always searching for something to "fill us up". The problem is, there is no reason to struggle; no reason to continue filling our time with garbage. If we would just say "no" to whatever that "thing" is that gets in the way of living life the way God intended, the Holy Spirit would swoop down and free us from the grip of the enemy. I've experienced it myself! Sadly, I've also experienced the spiritual defeat that comes with the opposite response of allowing myself to get "sucked in".
Then (I love it when this happens!), as I was contemplating all of this in prayer, the Lord showed me that Jesus struggled with the very same things. In fact, the one major time that Jesus struggled with this sort of thing was in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He prayed so hard that he had "sweat drops of blood". He didn't want to give up life on this earth and die! He was only 33! I believe that as a human, Jesus only knew what the Father showed Him. I really don't think that He "remembered" heaven, or anything about his pre-human life. His reliance was completely upon the Father, as evidenced by the fact that He spent so much time in prayer. What amazing love; what an amazing sacrifice that He ultimately made--for you, for me. He was willing to let go of His own fleshly desire to live--he resisted the temptations to run, to hide, to fight. He laid it all down for the will of His Father. His loss became our gain.
What about us? Are we willing to let go of silly stuff that is relatively unimportant in order to accomplish the task put before us? We can, through the power that was brought when Jesus made that very same choice on our behalf. I encourage you to bring whatever struggle you are facing to the Father, as Christ's sacrifice has enabled you. The Holy Sprit will come, the enemy will be defeated, and you will be set free to accomplish whatever is set before you today.
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