Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Learning from Everything

I am leading a Bible Study at church called The Frazzled Female by Cindi Wood. It's a good Bible Study and I have already taken it once and led it once before, so this is my third time through. I still learn something every time I read through it. The first week's study starts out in Luke 10 with the story of Mary and Martha. I've heard this story so many times and have sometimes beat myself up because I so identify with Martha and I really want to be a Mary. (I have also read the book "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" which I highly recommend for all of you Martha's out there.)

When I say that I want to be a Mary - what I mean is I always want to be sitting at the feet of Jesus. One of the questions Cindi discusses in the first session is "What do you consider sitting at the feet of Jesus?" I used to think this was just having a routine hour or more quiet time everyday, and was pretty convinced that it was never going to happen for me. There always seemed to be too much to do and I lacked self discipline. I must say I have gotten better about spending quiet time alone with God everyday, but I no longer consider that the only way to sit at the feet of Jesus. Now I try to invite Jesus to be in on every detail of my life and and ask the Holy Spirit to control my thoughts, actions and words and teach me something through every life experience - even the everyday mundane ones.

With that said... let me tell you what I learned from brushing teeth. My daughter Mary Lyndsey hates to brush her teeth. It is a battle every morning and every night. I have tried to logically explain it to her that if she doesn't get her teeth clean, that decay will start and she will have holes that will have to be filled by the dentist. She has already had 2 cavities (I'm ashamed to admit) and she fully remembers having them filled, so I thought that the logical explanation would be enough to persuade her. Not so. Anyway, I have to brush her teeth for her if I really want to get them clean and I have to hold her face and say "look at me so I can get them clean." If she tries to brush them herself, it doesn't do the trick. Well, recently, I spent an unsual amount of time trying to get them brushed (she had somehow snuck into the pantry and got an oreo right before bed time). We had to brush and rinse several times to get all of the black stuff out. Then, she decided she was thirsty. We usually have water bottles handy at bedtime, since being thirsty is a common excuse to put off actually going to sleep but I had forgotten to bring them upstairs. I sent her to the kitchen to get a water bottle and she came back drinking a Sunny D. I couldn't believe it. Here we had spent all this time brushing to get all the gunk out and get clean and now we were going to have to do it all over again... and what's more her thirst wasn't really quenched because she had chosen something to drink besides water.

As I was fussing at her about having to do it all over again I felt the Spirit of Christ say... "Aren't you glad I don't fuss at you when I have to clean you up all over again." I too fight having to have my sins brushed or washed clean every morning and every night. Sometimes I try to do it myself which doesn't do the trick. Having to admit my sin and ask for forgiveness is a hard thing to do but at the same time the easiest thing to do. If I leave the sin, it causes me to decay and leaves holes that can only be filled by the Great Dentist (Hey a dentist is a type of physician LOL I think my Dentist would appreciate being compared to Christ). I too choose things to try to quench my thirst other than The Living Water; and even though I logically know I have had to have holes filled before and I fully remember some of the pain and numbess, sometimes it doesn't convince me to get brushed or washed clean. I am stubborn and don't want to admit when I have done wrong. But Christ patiently, over and over again, holds my face and says "Look at me... I want to wash you clean."

So, sitting at the feet of Jesus for me is not just listening to him in uninterrupted quiet time. While that is a treasure and is great when I get to, it is also listening to him and learning something in every little thing in life... even in brushing teeth.


Carol said...

You are such an incredible writer! This was an awesome post. I love the Great Dentist! LOL. Too funny! My father-in-law is a dentist. He would love it!

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Awesome post. The same type of conversation happens for me when I do laundry. I don't really care for that household chore, but God has spoken so many times during that time.


BTW - we struggle with the teeth brushing too. Our 6 year old stills requires a brushing companion!