REFLECTIONS – THIS ONE STINKS!
Sitting in the recliner this morning listening to the crackle of the fire in the quiet of the morning, I was reflecting on my life. The more recent events seem to have me struggling with self-pity and questions to my Father God. Although, I rest in the certainty of His unchanging love, the pain and suffering in my physical body have brought me to a standstill with my well-laid goals and aspirations.
Staring into the flames as they curl around the logs and dance in columns of glowing swirls from blues to fiery orange, I watch the hard wood transform into embers aglow with lasting heat. Slowly falling are the ashes that build into a pile that will soon grow cold and lifeless to which the most gentle breeze will spread it into unrecognizable dust.
Am I like the wood where the trials of life burn away my strength and energy and leave me to nothing but ashes and dust when the total of my days are spent? Surely one day I shall return to the dust from which the LORD almighty made me, but, this is not what I hear the Holy Spirit saying to me today.
I am reminded of the illustration of the onion. If you have ever peeled an onion you will certainly understand this. Cutting off the ends begins the release of the pent-up scents so carefully packaged beneath the skins. The dry skins are next and are often aggravating to remove. They stick to your fingers and hang on the knife requiring diligence to shake them off. Once removed then the discovery of either a usable delicious onion or one that needs some more attention from the chef. Depending on the age of the onion, one might find perfect and unblemished layers inside or might find one or more discolored layers of rotting, stinking flesh. When that biological time clock of the onion alarms, the natural process of reproduction begins and in the very core of the onion a new life starts. But first, the onion has to die, rot, deteriorate for the new life to draw from the old and develop into a shoot of life ready to produce yet another onion.
So what does this have to do with the reflections of my life? The Spirit gentle takes me back in my mind to the source of my pain and sufferings and what in actuality was the main event. It really was not the accident and the resulting injury to my body that caused my sufferings. No, it was the attitude of my heart that drove me to the place and time of getting hurt in the first place. Stubborn determination that “I shall not be defeated by this task but with repeated pulls and tugs with all my might I will get this machine started. I can do this and don’t have to succumb to the self-realization that I just might need to ask for help admitting that I need something from someone else.”
Holy Spirit, I don’t like the looks of this layer; it stinks!! Now, I have to admit that there is something in my life that is not right. I have an attitude of heart that is not pleasing to you. It is pride. It is self-will that caused me not listen to the still small voice that you so often use to guide me. I submit to the knife and ask you to cut this rotting layer away with your love. I surrender this stinking, rotting attitude to you and ask that you get me to the next layer that is usable and that will bring you the glory. Not me but you, Lord, are deserving of all the glory. If there are more layers in my life that stink, Lord, quickly remove them from me. I will not hold on to the attitudes any more that are unpleasing to you. But, I surrender to you my all in spirit, mind and body.
I want to be used by you Lord to bring your love to others. I want your gentleness, your compassion to fill my life. Help me to always follow your still small voice that whispers in my heart, “This is the way, walk in it.” Let me burn with light so others can warm their hearts with the love coming from me as you use me to touch others.