Have you ever been in the middle of one of your favorite TV shows, when all of a sudden out of nowhere, this blaring, disruptive, siren-like honking sound starts screaming through your screen, H-O-N-K! H-O-N-K!!! “This is a Test!!! This is only a Test… a test of the Emergency Broadcasting Service!!!! In the event of an actually emergency, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” If you’re anything like me, your reaction probably goes something like this, “Really?!?!?!” Now?!?!!?? Seriously, who’s idea was this to just out of no where interrupt the middle of my show." You’re hot, but eventually, your show returns, even though you just missed the GOOD part!
Can you relate?
I know I’m guilty.
I know in the grand scheme of things, this situation is not major. I mean hopefully you DVR’ed the show and can catch up on it later. But in our day to day life, it’s often not that simple when we experience interruptions. You know, your day is going so well, and then all of a sudden out of nowhere, your boss crashes the big news on you about some stupid project he needs done asap. Can everything you’ve been working on up to this point, we’re changing directions. Or, your kid has been the model student for years, and then you get the call from the teacher about how he or she has been cutting the fool in class and is bringing shame to your good family name. Or, maybe it’s an unexpected illness or a nasty divorce or a layoff or… Only you know what that interruption is for you. While our interruptions may be different, what hits us the same is the fact that some event has just messed with our regularly scheduled programming.
But, what if, like that Emergency Broadcasting Service alert, this was just a test. “Hey, Naj, are you listening?” “Hey, if this were a real emergency, Naj, are you prepared?” “ Hey! Ya’ there?” But, like our interrupted show, we are often too insulted that someone would even have the audacity to interrupt our regularly scheduled program. We’re too disrupted to even consider that maybe, just maybe, we are in need of an interruption. Yes, I said, “need.”
Could it be that I actually needed an interruption? I mean things are going so well. What could I possibly need to change? I have worked so hard to get to “this” point. Interruption, get out of my way. Ain’t nobody got time for this. But, that’s the thing. Could it be that while God is busy trying to get "in" our way, we’re busy trying to get Him "out" of our way.
“I’m good,” you say.
But, are you really?
So often, we make casual what God takes seriously. For example, this morning when you were shouting at that stupid driver, who jumped in your lane and almost caused an accident. Or, the nasty thought and secret side eye you shot that co-worker who’s always taking credit for your work, or how you complained about people always needing you taking advantage of you, or how you have been pretending like you have it all together, when secretly you’re falling apart, or that unnecessary nasty comment, or gossiping about that person who probably deserved it. And the list goes on. See, God knows your list. He knows those areas that you need to be warned about, and he doesn’t take that warning casually at all. His job is to “reveal” that which we work so hard to “conceal.” And, it often starts with those things that don’t seem to really impact much. Things that seem completely miniscule in the grand scheme of things. Forgetting that a “drift” often precedes a crash, chest pains, usually precede “the big one,” and minor seismic tremors often precede an eruption.
You see, “small” often has a Napolean complex. It doesn’t want to stay small, so it’s always trying to figure out how to get “big.” Left unchecked, trust me, “small” will not only find a way to grow, but it will spread. So, no, you haven’t committed the “big one,” you say. You haven’t stolen or committed adultery, but remember God’s definition of sin is so much deeper and wider than that. Remember, "Whatever is not from faith is sin." (Romans 14:23). And, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them.” (James 4:17). God is concerned with the whole of you because “even A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough” (Galatians 5:9) and “what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” (James 3:5)
So, this morning, I ask you to consider whether God might be warning, begging and pleading with you. Won’t you let Him help you put out the spark before the blaze.If this post resonated with you in any way, I know it did with me, just take a moment and ask God, “Lord, what are the areas in my life you are trying to warn me about? Remind me of those tremors and chest pains and drifts in my life that I now justify as simply an annoyance or ‘the way I am’ that are indicators of a possible upcoming eruption. Help me surrender everything big and small to you so that I can truly practice what it is I speak. In Jesus’s holy name. Amen.”