“Gulp” or “Some pills are just hard to swallow”

So yesterday, Scott and I had our taste of "The People’s Court" in livin’ color. We finally strong-armed the company contracted more than a year and a half ago to replace our driveway to pay us back the money they were given. Things went fine; we got the money. That’s all we were after…

…at least that’s what I told myself. But I’ll admit, I wanted the guy’s business to have a marred record. I wanted him to have some sort of consequence for screwing us over and not following through; for standing us up multiple times we were supposed to meet to go over details and set plans in motion; for showing complete incompetence in being a good businessman; for not living up to his billing in the yellow-pages ad as performing loyally for over 22 years.

But since he whipped out his checkbook at the magistrate’s prompting and paid what he owed on the spot (though he had to ask "Your Honor" for the exact price he owed three different times…and borrow a pen from him to write the check), the claim will be dismissed and he’ll come away without a blemish. Nobody will ever know minus who we’ve complained to. And that frustrates me.

Of course, God has a lesson for me in all this–a lesson on forgiveness. I got clammy when I thought about how I deserve to be treated by my Lord and Savior when I repeatedly go back on my word, not following through on promises to live a pure and holy life, to be his witness to the ends of the earth, to treat others as I wish to be treated, to feed the hungry, give to the poor, clothe the naked and provide shelter to the homeless; to love the unlovable…unconditionally.

I just don’t get it. I don’t understand this God I claim to have surrendered my life to. His mysteries are both too complicated and too elementary at once. And I write this as I listen to Audio Adrenaline’s "Never Gonna’ Be as Big as Jesus."

Isn’t that the truth…

Or is it? Is he not living within me, yearning to make every decision for me and lead me on the path of righteousness? Has his Word not told me that I will do even greater works? Is it demeaning to Christ to think that I’m also capable of perfection, just as he was? Or is it a testimony to his ENORMOUS power to work within me and bring about his glory IN SPITE OF my sinful nature. When he told the prostitute to "go and sin no more," (the NIV waters this call down to "leave your life of sin") was he giving a command impossible to keep? I think not.

Well, I got off track there. I guess I’m just frustrated with my own inadequacies as a follower of Jesus. I struggle to rely on him for everything. I know the charge I’ve been given and I’m just not surrendering as much as I need to. I’m not pliable enough clay right now.

Guess I’ll go pray about that now.

Joel Maust

Joel Maust is a blogger, marketer and photographer living in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.

1 Comment

Jolene

about 13 years ago

Hi Joel! I'm a friend of Megan's, I think she told you to expect my email. Well, technically this isn't an email, but whatever. She has mentioned (and it is quite obvious on your website) that you have a talent with photography. My situation: I have at least one dancer I'd like to take to L.A. on a "trial basis". He has no headshots. I need a few updated ones myself. I won't go into it too much on here, but email me back if you are interested. By the way, great shots. Love "Santa Barbara Mission 2".

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