As we drive home from another wonderful time worshiping and studying the word with the church body, I'm irritated. Like many of my sinful desires, my frustration is birthed from a good motive: I want our family to grow spiritually and mature in Christ. But less than 10 minutes after leaving church, I feel all the cords of my humanity pulling me downward. I am hungry, I'm exhausted, I feel so much frustration with my severely lacking spiritual relationship with Justin. Instead of my heart being humbled by my own weakness and seeking Christ's strength, I just get mad. Really mad. The kind of mad you only see when a long, long list of "circumstances" are your excuse for your otherwise intolerable behavior. "I'm so tired! I only got 3 hours of sleep. I've only had one cup of coffee and nothing to eat and it's noon! Why are you like that?! Why am I like this? AHH!" Poor Justin. I spiraled into a hurricane of dissatisfaction with pretty much everything from our feeble attempts at reading the bible together to my lonely attempts to pray and talk about God with Jude each night before he goes to sleep. We sit down at Jimmy's Eggs and wait and wait for some food, any food. Jude proceeds to meltdown. What started out as a creamer stacking game quickly disintegrated into a screaming bought, creamer packets chucked with a violence only explained by a tired, hungry, 1 year old. Somewhere between Jude's transformation into Velociraptor Smith, the destroyer of all things within arms' reach and the arrival of our underwhelming brunch, the irony sunk in. Yes, it did take a laughably ironic playacting by my turkey-weasel son for me to understand exactly how childish I was acting. Jude acts like a child because he is a child. So why do I act like a child? Why do I pile so many expectations upon me and Justin, and then promptly explode into desperate, teary frustration when we fall so far short of achieving them?
My sin is so sticky and annoying. I feel like I am constantly the lead in some farce, replaying the same stupid lines, tripping on the same banal banana peel, forever frozen with a face of frustration and astonishment at my failure. I can't even fully express how aggravating it is to feel the spirit move, flood with the desire to know God more closely, and have a heart overflowing with love for him, only to let him down in under an hour. But then there's Christ, hands scarred from his sacrifice. He stands boldly, open armed, not out of weakness as an abused lover always taking back his tormenter, but out of his transformation love. This love is so strong, so powerful, so unbelievable that even Satan and his army underestimated it on that dark Sabath-eve 2000 years ago. That's the same love that gave me a son who metaphorically teaches me of my own selfishness and Christ's own selflessness. I'm glad Jusje and I are doing Steps at the Village together. I think there's obviously quite a few weeds that need pulling from around my heart.
For those of you who haven't heard about Steps at the Village Church, here's the overview:
"Steps at The Village is an intensive, 16-week discipleship program that meets on Thursday nights for two hours. During the first hour, gender specific small groups are divided by geographic zones to share their reflections of the prior week's study. In the second hour a biblically based lesson is given to help us examine our lives in light of the gospel. This study requires a deeper level of commitment than the weekly meetings. In 2011 all three campuses (Denton, Dallas Northway and Flower Mound) will offer two Step Study sessions, one session in the spring and another in the fall.
Fall Steps Study The Fall 2011 class is now closed, but classes will be offered again in the upcoming year: Spring 2012 - Jan. 19 – April 26 (registration opens Dec. 5 at 9 a.m.) Summer 2012 - May 10 – Aug. 16, 2012 (registration opens April 9) Fall 2012 - Aug. 30 – Dec. 13, 2012 (registration opens July 30) Need More? If you desire further information and are unable to find it on this page, use our online contact form and select "Recovery at The Village" from the category drop-down menu."