Cut It Down
Yesterday, I read an SRT devotional (a really good one too) which the writer began by recounting once living in a house with a glass wall that was close to an oak tree, and watching that oak wondering when it might cause damage. A storm did cause a huge bough to break one day and ruin the glass.
I barely registered that part of the devotional when I read it, but climbing the stairs today, I suddenly thought, why didn't they just cut the oak tree long before the storm?
He immediately reminded me of how many things in my life—our lives—we leave be, knowing they can easily cause damage, they can easily lead us to sin or even failure. Yet, we just watch them, somehow hoping nothing terrible will happen. We tell ourselves things like: I’m in control, I really need this, it’s just for a while, I know my limit. Yo, I've been in situations where I knew I shouldn't be watching this show or eating this food or hanging out with this person/people, yet I wouldn't just cut the looming oak.
God is kind, but each time, it still took something out of me in the form of an adverse reaction or just plain old time wasted. I've significantly pruned my life over the past year. Actually, He has. Of TV shows, of projects I get involved in, of certain relationships.
Sometimes, these things are not black and white in the way we’d like them to be. They’re not good vs. bad things/people. Often, they're just not for you. I really used to enjoy watching TV shows; I constantly had a list of shows I was watching in my downtime. I'd even reached the point where I'd learnt which shows had content He was fine with. Yet, this year, I realised that watching shows significantly alter the kinds of dreams I have, and because He speaks to me a lot in dreams, I chose to cut them out.
“The Lord said to Abram: Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him...”
- Genesis 12
“Why didn’t you even tell him where he was going?” I asked.
“If I had told him, would he have had a frame of reference for recognising it?” He said.
There are instructions God gives that seem to defy our concept of what the situation/action ought to be. Just remember that He is the only one who actually sees the situation as it is, so it is better to see through His eyes and follow His lead.
Today, I thought about how my life is full. How, these things I once considered entertainment or work haven't left me with anything missing. I have not giving up anything. I have gained a lot. In time spent with Him. From walking in His way and doing things He instructs. In focusing on the projects that He wants me to. Through the people He picks for me.
God never messes with our freewill, I realise. If we keep Him out, He won’t force Himself or His ways on us. Yet, we lose a lot by doing that. So, what's that oak you're watching and hoping will miss your glass wall?
Cut. It. Down.