Last night I made some yummy tacos. We had both blackened mahi (leftover from Wednesday night) and spicy shredded chicken. The vital topping for these two taco varieties is, of course, cilantro. However, even though I popped in the grocery store yesterday expressly for cilantro, at dinner I was devastated to learn that I had grabbed Italian parsley instead. Maybe devastated is too strong a word. Maybe. The parsley was in the section labeled cilantro. But I didn’t have my glasses to read the tiny label. I think the mistake was especially deflating because I’ve done this before. In fact, I’m pretty sure this is the third time I’ve made this mistake.
But there are at least two spiritual lessons in my errant endeavor to properly top tacos.
First we are slow learners. I have discovered the triple-home-button method to magnify anything on my phone. I also possess a perfectly functional nose. I could have confirmed it was in fact cilantro with either of these reliable tools. But, I didn’t. I’m stupid and forgetful. Spiritually, we all are.
We never graduate beyond needing the most basic refreshers. God is holy. You are a sinner. But God loves you so much He sent Jesus to die for you and to pay the penalty for all your sins. You can live forever with Him but you have to lay down your plan and your way.
In my Bible study last semester I heard a simple illustration. Have you ever watched a two-year-old try to tie shoes? I think it’s possible you haven’t because praise God for Velcro! Anyway a two-year-old cannot tie shoes. But some will try for a while. Eventually the shoes get tied when the child is ready to admit they can’t on their own and asks for help.
Have you told God you can’t do it on your own? Or are you still flailing around, trying to tie the shoes of your life? God is ever-willing to help you, but He doesn’t wrangle you or force anything. Thankfully He is patient, and faithful, and full of love.
What are some other basic lessons you are apt to forget? I am inclined to forget that laying down my plans is a daily discipline, that each and every person (even those who propose or support legislation to kill babies) is made in the image of God, that I can’t earn God’s love or orchestrate how anything goes.
A second spiritual lesson from my parsley calamity, is that sometimes what you need looks a lot like what you do not. We need to pray for discernment. There are loud voices in our culture, probably all cultures, that say just what the serpent in the Garden said, “Did God really say?” And then after planting seeds of doubt, they follow up with harmful ideas and persuasions that are far more injurious than parsley on tacos.
Thankfully Jesus showed us how to refute those who would lead us astray. I’m sure you know what He said. He said, “It is written…”
Using God’s Word to fend off temptation and corrupting influences is always the answer. But to use God’s Word, you have to know God’s Word. Are you saturating 2019 with Scripture? I can always do better but have recently had success with a morning routine using the structure of the CBR Journal (www.thecbrjournal.com).
But whatever works for you, find it and do it. It’s time spent there’s a zero percent chance of regretting!
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12 ESV
Have a fabulous weekend!