As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wearing Down

I'm tired. I'm so tired I ache. It isn't so much what I did today either. It is what I have done for the last three days. On Sunday WonderMan and I worked in the yard. We got lots of good work done, and I got some plants rearranged and my seeds down in one bed before the rain started Sunday night. That was good. My back, however, wasn't thrilled. Yesterday the children and I spent over three hours doing errands and buying groceries. It really wasn't a hard day, but with an already tender back, it had some rough consequences last night. Today, the children made banana bread, and I swept up after them and swept the other tile floors in the house. I also did some work in the sun room. When I realized I couldn't get everything organized I needed put away, I decided to make the much needed shelves. WonderMan had already cut the wood. It simply needed to be screwed together and painted. The children helped, which was a blessing, but it still meant a lot of bending and stooping, and now, I am paying the price for my industrious efforts.

If I continue at this pace, I could end up with bulging discs again. I spent 8 weeks in misery before because I didn't know when to quit pushing my limits. I still deal with consequences of that delusional perception of immortality.

Too often I think we don't realize the effects of seemingly negligible behavior. Physically, as an athlete, I was taught a real athletes plays with pain and never gripes. Real athletes also often face surgeries, life-time pain, and drug problems due to damage that cannot be fixed. While I believe God used basketball as part of my sanity, I still find it a highly questionable risk.

Spiritually, we risk far more when we begin to dabble in areas that seem inconsequential. One flirtatious joke. One date with someone who doesn't share our values. One trip to that club on the outskirts of town because that is where everyone at the office is going. One lie about one's income. One. Just one. I spent one day working in the flower beds. Did it ruin my back? No, but it sure made it susceptible to further injury. The problem is, though, I develop a false security. One time didn't hurt me. Surely I'll be fine doing this. Then comes the rationalization and the second time.

The second joke. The second date. Second trip to the club. The second lie.

Still, I'm a little sore, but I'm doing okay, and it felt good to get those things done. Just like the flirting feels good. The attention feels good. Watching those women (or men) feels good. Having a bigger bank account feels good.

At what point does the delusion that I am doing no damage stop? When I am in an MRI machine finding out whether I'll need surgery? When the flirting becomes kissing or when the kissing becomes intercourse? When the date becomes adulterous or an unequally yoked marriage? Maybe when the fantasies make it nearly impossible to work or maybe when your wife-or worse, your child-finds the porn on your computer or under your bed? Before or after the IRS audits you and takes all you own or sends you to jail?

It doesn't even have to be "the big stuff" listed above. Shopping, eating, coffee with the girls, cleaning, not cleaning...Anything that takes your heart from God and the ministry He has for you both inside your house and has to be seen for what it is. It is sin, and sin leads to destruction.

It destroys families, children, relationships, companies...individuals.

When does the reality of the consequences of our actions become painful enough that we can no longer ignore, but instead, we acknowledge the pain and destruction we are causing and repent of our ways?

Tonight I am taking time to listen to my back. It says my behavior is destructive. I can listen now or be forced to deal with the consequences of my behavior later. Destructive behavior cannot be ignored forever.

Praying the Quiet Voice whispers loud enough that I can never ignore it...and never want to...

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