Friday, October 16, 2015

Counting on Christ and Keeping Track

You should know I tried this ultra-natural ultra-moisturizing treatment on my hair. In my effort to get rid of all things scented, and not spend a fortune on hair products*, I read yet another article about the crazy miraculous benefits of coconut oil. So I did it. About 10 minutes before my shower I gently coated my hair with coconut oil. I let it sit, then washed it out. Then washed it again. And again.

I think I did something wrong, maybe? It took roughly 5 washings over 3 days to get all the oil out. During that time I shoved my head into a hat and called it good. One silver lining to having sick kids- I don't have to worry about facing the world with straight up greasy hair.

All this to say: I screw things up on a regular basis. And things bigger than tropical hair.

Which makes it tempting to play it safe. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Because I honestly live my life like a giant golf game. Unintentionally, I keep track. And the goal is to have the least amount of screw ups before getting it right. Failure hurts. Why oh why go through it unnecessarily? I look at my kids weekly, after another screw up, and go, "Hey look, I've never done this before."

It's true. I've never lived this day before, raised an almost 10 year old girl like my oldest, or raised any other kid like my other kids.

So the most tempting thing to do would be to tell myself to stop keeping track. I could tell you the same thing. Stop keeping track. Just live. There's only one problem. We can't seem to do it. Sure, some are better than others at it, but at some point do you ever look at something you've done or said, and think, "Really? Again?"

I am beginning to think there is a reason we keep track. God keeps track. For those in Christ, that doesn't have to be a scary thing. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of  your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross. -Colossians 2:13-14

I believe the "keeping track" part of us is part of God's character in us. The distortion and sin comes in when we use it to focus on ourselves or others. Job kept track of his good works, his faithfulness. God kept track of His own faithfulness, His own greatness. God won out big time. (Job 40-41)

I'm not going to tell you to stop keeping track. I will say that we need to redirect that very natural tendency toward a much more Worthy Subject. Let's keep our eyes fixed on the Author and Perfector of our faith- let's keep track of His faithfulness. His deliverance. His mercy.

We don't need to keep track of ourselves- He does that already. You know when I sit and when I rise... Psalm 139. 

And He does it in perfect love.

How would we live if we just kept our eyes on all the ways God shows us His love, namely in Christ, and stopped worrying about doing it all just right? It would be a messier life for sure, but so much larger than what we can fit into our safe little boxes.

So, can we make a deal? How about when we make mistakes or just blatantly bad choices, instead of putting another tally under our own "screw up" column, we put the tally under God's column- and count on Him to be faithful and forgiving? It will make all the difference.

* By the way, if you know what I did wrong with the coconut oil, or know of some inexpensive unscented products, I'd be so grateful if you shared your wisdom with me. :)