On the way home from church; I was pondering today’s sermon and deciding what to write for today’s post. The past few weeks our pastor has been preaching a series “A Disciple’s Journey.” His purpose has been to guide us during this season of Lent in anticipation of Easter. Today he spoke about Jesus’ prayers in the garden just before he was betrayed. The message for us was: “Through prayer Jesus learned to completely trust the Father’s direction.” He mentioned that Jesus gave us an example of how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13:
“… Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
As I was driving and reflecting; it started raining. I turned my wipers on and immediately thought, “What a difference!” Right now you are probably wondering two things: 1. “What does this have to do with the above paragraph and scripture?” and 2. “How could someone be so excited about windshield wipers?”
Let me give you the answer to #2 first… Last week my husband left for a military assignment away from home. The day before he left; we spent time together as a family. We went out to lunch, went to the beach to search for sea glass, played on a playground, and ran errands. The errands included replacing the windshield wipers. Over a year ago we bought my previously used car. I have no idea how long it has been since the wipers were changed; if ever. In Okinawa, there is an average of 87.5 inches of rainfall per year. (See here for graphs and more Okinawa climate averages.) Generally, when it rains here; it pours. My old wipers did very little to clear the rain off of the windshield. They were very helpful for smearing the rain into large streaks that often made it even more difficult to see. It was worse at night since the streaks actually reflected oncoming headlights making it difficult to see the lines on the road. So hopefully now you will understand why I am so overjoyed by my new wipers.
Now to answer #1… I was considering the perfection of the way the wipers worked and comparing it to my life. Huh? In order for you to understand; I need to give you a peek into my personality. Recently, I completed an extensive personality profile test and received a 9 page report describing me almost perfectly. According to that report; my best and worst traits include the following:
Best–Ethical, Reliable, Productive, Wise, Idealistic, Fair, Honest, Orderly, and Self-Disciplined
Worst–Judgmental, Inflexible, Obsessive-Compulsive, Controlling, Anxious, Overly Serious, and Jealous
Basically, I am a perfectionist. I alphabetize, organize, and color code almost everything in my life and try to do the same for others who are not a perfectionist like me. Relating that to my spiritual life; I really do try to live according to the Bible. But, I usually end up feeling like a complete failure for not living up to Christ’s standards. This makes me try even harder only to fail even more. In today’s sermon; I was reminded that there are not perfect answers for every personal problem or situation. What we do have is a guideline (in the form of the Bible) that God gave us so that we can know Him on an intimate level. The more we study God’s Word; the more He will reveal to us. We can have a personal relationship with Him! And we can talk to him knowing that He does not expect us to be perfect. He just wants us to run the race towards the finish line!
(Below is a link to a great video that our pastor showed in church today.)
Categories: Life, Sermon Reflections
Nice blog Aly! Where did you get the personality test done? What’s the purpose of it?
I have a CD-ROM that has the test on it. The purpose was for couples to take it individually then read results in order to better understand each other.
Some insight that I received by personal e-mail in response to this blog post:
“Two verses I want you to think about when you become to “perfectionist oriented.”
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. ESV
Heb 10:12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. ESV
Intellectually we know that Jesus paid our debt, but the American way is to want to contribute with our good works. The problem arises when we forget that all our sins are paid and we are already justified before God, when we fail to meet our own standard for perfection we accumulate a lot of unnecessary guilt. There is no problem when we are doing the works to honor and obey God for saving us. I know you probably are already aware of this but I need to review it for my own benefit and your blog reminded me of that.”
“Thank you for sharing!… So glad that you’ve got working windshield wipers that are wiping away the rain so you can see…just as God is wiping away your need to be perfect before him. Don’t forget, he knew us before we were ever born…he knew that we would be imperfect, that is how he created us:) I too, am daily re-learning that lesson!”
I have no idea when I changed the wipers, if I ever did…haha!
Ha Stacey! I was actually talking about the Honda; not your car 🙂 Your wipers work just fine 🙂