It’s interesting how my mind works. Before a recent trip to the store I grabbed a pen and paper to jot down a grocery list. I knew the fruit drawer in my fridge was nearly empty so I wrote down “fruit”.
Funny thing, though.
When I looked back at the list I had actually written “cookies”.
I seem to be doing a lot of that lately.
An inspiration to take a walk strikes me, but on the way to get my shoes I end up in front of the computer checking my friends’ riveting Facebook updates. I mean to grab my Bible, but spy the TV remote and suddenly the newest episode of House Hunters is on.
It would be easy to just blame it on the fact that I’m a weak-willed-woman.
But that would be a lie.
I am not a weak-willed woman.
But, I do get sidetracked on occasion. My priorities get out of kilter. Especially if I’m overwhelmed with activities or lacking the necessary sleep to keep me functioning at peak performance.
(O.K. I had to suppress a giggle just then, because I don’t think I’ve been at peak performance since 1994.)
Still, I’m not the only one for whom self sabotage is an issue.
The apostle Paul also struggled with his own contradictory behavior. In the New Living Translation of Romans 7:15 Paul writes, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.”
That sounds freakishly familiar.
So what’s the answer?
Whenever a friend of mine does the children’s moment at church she tells the kids that it’s a pretty safe bet if she asks them a question the answer is always going to be “Jesus.” The apostle Paul would agree with her. In Romans 7:25 Paul says, “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Jesus has my best interest at heart even when I don’t. And what’s more, He sent Holy Spirit to me as my biggest cheerleader. When I lack the motivation to do what I know I should, I can ask for Holy Spirit’s encouragement.
Granted, sometimes that encouragement comes in the form of asking me to give up control.
And that isn’t easy.
But giving up control helps me develop discipline. Discipline that urges me to take the narrow road even when the wide path looks like a tantalizing short cut. Discipline that guides me to do what I should in the moment instead of setting it aside until later and then it is forgotten.
I know it may not keep me from penning “cookies” on my grocery list, but there is a sweeter satisfaction to be had.
And His name is Jesus.