When I was a kid, my three older brothers wrestled ALL. THE. TIME. Seriously, it was their answer to everything and their solution to all of life’s challenges.
Don’t like the steelers? LETS WRESTLE.
You ate the last cookie? LETS DO THIS!
It’s too hot to play outside? WRESTLE!!
They didn’t even have Nacho Libre to set a standard saying wrestling is cool.
It was inherent.
I am not sure if they taught me that phylosophy or if it really is our human response, but sometimes I don’t feel any different. If I were to see inside of my mind, it would probably look like my 1970’s living room: hand-me-down furniture, red carpet(yep), two ideas wrestling their hearts out to be heard, and my mother sitting in a pink arm chair yelling “NO WRASTLING!!”
(Anyone else’s mom call it WRASTLING?)
I’m wrestling now, that’s for sure. Anyone else? Anyone else feel their truest, and often least favorite, parts of themselves threatening to creep back in? People have all different names for those dark parts: sin nature, flesh, human nature. Whatever you want to call it is fine by me. I just want it to go away. So I wrestle them down until they are small in hopes that one day they will be small. One day they will be so tired and so small I forget they were ever a part of me at all.
I wrestle them so they will begin to understand they have no real business here. I get to decide who I am. WHOSE I AM. My soul was bought and captured and declared no longer available the second I said yes to Jesus and not my Self. If I remember that, then I can be confident in the outcome of the match, even if the wrestling does take a while or leave me breathless. I have peace all through that wrestling match.
I’ll wear the required uniform (tights) and I’ll get to the highest point and say, “WILL THE REAL CHRISTIANS PLEASE STAND UP!”
Because I’m tired of sitting by hoping something is going to come of my life. I’m tired of asking (wrestling with God) until I beat down my selfish desires and hear God and then turn around and offer excuses of why I can’t do what he is asking me to do.
The fact is I can’t do those things. They are good and I usually only want good for ME if we are being honest. You can’t do those things. Good for other people. Not without God. He is the good in each of us. He is the endurance and strength and the only way we can even be a part of blessing others. He is the good we pass forward.
I have decided I can go it alone (just me and God) if I need to, but isn’t living so much better when your friends are there?
It’s time to gather up. Find your commonalities. Talk amongst yourselves. And then decide what you can be doing to pay forward what you receive every morning: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. For there is no argument against such things. God wants us to have them. They are gifts. And the more we give away of ourselves, the more we receive these. It’s a wonderful circular system.
So ask yourself “what can I do? Right here. Right now. With the resources God has given me. With the people I see before me. What can I do to make someone feel loved? To put someone first?”
Here are some ideas that have been rattling around in my brain. Feel free to add to the list:
Buy a package of socks and hand out a pair of them and a bottle of water to every homeless person I see.
Carry five dollars in my car each month and let my kids take turns deciding what stranger to give it to.
Buy a coffee for the guy behind me.
Clean up someone else’s mess.
Write an encouraging note (by hand) to friends I haven’t talked to in a while.
Finish writing my book.
Fill the empty bed in my son’s room with someone who needs a place to sleep.
Open my home to whoever wants to eat here.
Tape four quarters to the meter after I leave for the next guy.
Assign a prayer request to every hour on my calendar. Set it to notify me and pray for others all day long.
Buy an encouraging book for someone who is having a tough time.
Volunteer in a shelter or with a local homeless kids’ program.
Teach English as a second language at my church- for free.
Say yes to helping others as much as possible.
Go to the university and hand out cup-oh-soups and oranges to passers-by.
Decide who you want to be. Wrestle down your lazy and non compliant flesh. And do something. Watch how God multiplies it. How he multiplies you and your energy and resources.
Because what would happen if we took a day. A week. A month. And decided to give to every person we saw in need. It doesn’t have to be money, but it can be. It might be. And if it is, God will give you money. If it’s time, God will work it out. You may find you have to give up things, but isn’t it worth it?
Because at the end of this life we all want someone to stand up and say something about us. Now is your time to write that something.