Recently we read one of children's favorite stories, The Emperor's New Clothes. My kids think it is unimaginable that anyone would actually believe to be wearing clothes while prancing through the streets of the town for all the world to see in only their skivvies. His pride draped around his shoulders masquerading as wisdom.
Wasn't he cold? Didn't he notice the shocked and embarrassed faces of the townspeople and his court? WHAT was he thinking?!
After putting the book away, the Holy Spirit convicted me of my own unimaginable prideful practice. Every morning when I rise, I go through a mental checklist of all there is to accomplish that day. And because I am a list-maker, those items get put in order of priority. The usual things like laundry, dishes, piano practice, schooling, Bible study, and exercise (last on the priority list, I'm ashamed to say) are placed and ready to be tackled.
Sounds good to be so organized and on top of things, right? Well, those things are all well and good IF I am doing them under and through the power of our Lord. To be honest though, I tend to get ahead of myself and plan MY day MY way. Bible study and quiet time are not slotted until 2:00 p.m. so I'll address the Lord then.
Can you believe the audacity of that sin?! My pride and selfishness masquerading as efficiency and organization.
I go about my business and plan on my own power. And any of us know the result of that effort, right? Lost tempers and a complaining spirit. An unkind voice and impatient attitude. Sin piled atop of sin.
However, there are days that I actually slow down a bit and greet the Lord first thing. I take a moment to lay all that day holds at His feet and ask Him what,when, and how I should accomplish all that lies ahead of me. I ask Him for His plan His way. I ask for His guidance and direction for every detail ahead.
He never fails me. He clothes me with patience and kindness that can only come from Him. He increases my faith in Him and my understanding of His truth and promises. He gives me opportunity to tell others (usually my own children) of His great love. He wraps me in a cloak of joyful preparedness that I could never wear on my own accord.
On the days when things begin to slip out of control and slide into craziness, I picture myself as that crazy emperor. Crazy enough to parade around the halls of my home and community without the covering of his daily dose of grace and mercy.
Then, I dash to my "closet" and ask the Lord to help me get my clothes on! He's always waiting with His merciful garment.
4:11 I will guide you in the way of wisdom and I will lead you in upright paths. 4:12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered, and when you run, you will not stumble.4:13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; protect it, because it is your life.