Years ago some friends and I rented snowshoes and drove into A-Basin (Arapahoe Basin) in Colorado. When we arrived we strapped on our snowshoes.
Though we were all about the same size with the same size snowshoe, no one seemed to have any trouble, except me. For some reason I kept dropping through the snow-pack. I kept getting stuck.
The worst was when I had one leg plunged deep into the snow all the way to my groin and the other flat on the surface. While trying to extricate my left leg my right leg plunged through the snow nearly reaching the depth of the other. I howled something impolite as I realized that I was now going to dig myself out of the snow while wearing my snowshoes.
Angry and somewhat resentful I sent my friends ahead. Left alone, I sulked.
That was a short-term problem, but it illustrates the challenges we feel when we feel “stuck.”
Sunday my friend and pastor Steve Wiens recommended three prayers for Holy Week this year, including: “God, reveal where I’m enslaved and set me free.”
A-Basin was filled with beautiful, pristine virgin snow. I wanted to trek where no one else had walked. I wanted to feel a sense of beauty, strength, accomplishment, and freedom.
Sadly, I felt nothing like that.
Freedom is what I craved, but I got stuck.
Freedom is what we crave, but slavery is often what we settle for.
We do not have to settle for being stuck.
God did not design up a strict cause and effect world, so it’s easy to excuse misguided decisions.
– Over-eating does not cause us “to gain ten pounds,” immediately.
– Drinking too much alcohol does not cause us to become an alcoholic, immediately.
– Lying to our lover does not cause our relationship to break-up, immediately.
It’s usually a series of choices, repeated over time that destroys us.
I excuse laziness.
I watch Netflix movies I shouldn’t watch.
I know there are TV commercials I should look away from.
I have bad attitudes I justify.
I routinely over-eat.
I was married in 1987 and I weighed 167 pounds. Twenty five years later I weigh 230 pounds. I had a fairly active lifestyle over those twenty-five years, but a combination of too much calorie-dense food in my diet and too often eating more than I needed led to my weight gain.
Steve suggested we pray, “God, reveal where I’m enslaved and set me free,” because in our search for freedom we often find ourselves enslaved.
We also pray because God “is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us,nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.” 1
God understands our hearts.
God understands our motives.
God understands our ambitions.
God understands our misguided thinking.
God doesn’t want us to stay stuck, that’s why Jesus Christ died for our sins. If you want to know more about that, Eric Ludy really explains that clearly, watch this.
1- Psalm 103:8-10