Saturday, June 7, 2014

Plugging Up The Leaks

I have a really bad habit of eating while driving. I developed it from years spent driving from office to office during traffic hours. Although things have changed recently in that department, old habits die hard. So on the way to counsel this morning I was driving with one hand and eating a breakfast burrito with the other. Since I had my eyes on the road (aren’t you thankful for that) I didn’t notice the back end of the burrito leaking through 3 layers of napkins. Drip, drip, and drip onto my shirt and jeans. I couldn’t see it and I couldn’t feel it. But Nan could.

That’s kind of a picture of my life, and maybe yours as well. While my attention is focused in one direction, my bad habits are leaking in another, and I’m either totally unaware or cognitively impervious.

What am I leaking?

It could be all kinds of things. It could be my proclivity to be short or critical with my words when I am focused on getting somewhere in a hurry. It could be my tendency to be stingy with money when we are supposed to be celebrating. It could be my need to be heard, trampling on other people’s feelings who want to be included in the conversation. Whatever it might be, others are observing the drips and their effects, but I am not.

Where I make things worse is when I don’t want those drips to be brought to my attention. I was grateful when Nan wanted to help clean my shirt and pants, but there are other areas where I would rather she just ignore the flaws. And sometimes it is wisdom on her part when she lets some of those things go. But the Bible says:    
Proverbs 27:6 The Message (MSG)
The wounds from a lover are worth it;
   kisses from an enemy do you in. 
I like that translation – other versions substitute the word “friend” instead of lover, but those who truly love me will risk telling me the truth, even if it is awkward or risky.

Ask yourself this question:

“Am I correctable?”

Can I hear what I don’t want to hear, even if it is good for me and the relationships that I value, or have I put up barriers to protect a fragile sense of self, or an arrogant persona? That condition will separate me from intimacy with others. I have done that in my marriage and perhaps you have too. When I am yielded to Christ I am much less likely to do that – but oh, how hard that can be when my defenses are up and my habits are entrenched.

Where do you think you might be leaking? Is it because of an oversight due to having your eyes fixed on the wrong things? Can you be gentle but honest with yourself?

By the way, the spots came out of my shirt and pants, albeit reluctantly. There is always hope, and with some perseverance and a little assistance from caring others you can clean up the mess, and plug up the leaks as well. 

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