As a child, like most others, I was taught to dangers of touching hot things.
Mom: Mayisha, don’t touch that eye. It’ll burn you!
When the food was cooking, I had little to no interest in approaching. I mean the eye was glowing red hot and looked to almost want to come and get me. But when turned off and the pot removed along with my mother’s presence and attention, it seemed to beckon. “Touch me, touch me. I’m not hot anymore. Don’t you want to see for yourself? I promise I won’t hurt you now. Look! I’m loosing my glow.”
So what do I do?
I touch it.
And what happens?
It burns me.
It hurts me.
It teaches me.
And what happens next?
My mother tends to me.
She covers to heal.
She reminds me of her words.
My curiosity was and still is a gift. The way I viewed the situation was problematic. I did not recognize the danger. I did not trust the instruction. I did not accept love’s “constraints”.
For too long, I believed only bold, red, hot “supersins” were dangerous and that the enemy is dressed as someone in a red suit with two horns and a tail. In reality, he is far more subtle and successful in promoting a salubrious nature. He is likened to a charismatic leader clothed in divisive rhetoric, false humility, comparisons, and judgeful mentality. He is the accuser of the brethren, tricking us to see ourselves as deficient. When that occurs, we look to false gods for answers. Addictions develop while our faith wanes.
This is how we complicate our lives. This is how we lose focus. God wants to change how we view things.
Romans 12:2 New Living Translation (NLT)
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
He does not want to change us or others.
Psalm 139:14 King James Version (KJV)
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
He has inundated us with His grace. All deficiencies were nullified on the cross.
Ephesians 2:8-9 New Living Translation (NLT)
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
All these exchanges teach me to have faith in God. Faith in who He made me to be. Faith in His instruction. Faith in His love.
Living simply means learning my standards are not His. I learn my standards are arbitrary and His are obtainable only through His son. I learn that following my standards leads to defeat and to follow His son leads to victory in this life and the next. I learn that throughout life I will continue to “touch stoves” and that His grace and word will always cover, tend, and heal.
Be well, Beloved.