Paul’s comment in Romans 7:15 is often my lament: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
Or in a folksier version, there’s Randy Travis’s: “I hear tell the road to hell is paved with good intentions….”
Food. Speaking kindly. Using time wisely. Caring for others. Using time wisely. Studying the Bible. Using time wisely. Praying. I never seem to have a good balance and rarely follow through on good ideas the Spirit sends to my mind.
So I really shouldn’t eat this snack. I can go without. I’m not really hungry. Or I could get celery or some other healthy, low-calorie snack. Doesn’t happen. Finish off the bag of chips.
Different kind of food scenario: Brandon’s recovering from surgery, so I should take food. Doesn’t happen.
Fran will start chemo soon. She can eat this week before chemo, so I should take food. Doesn’t happen. Now she’s nauseated and doesn’t even want food—mine or anyone else’s.
Bev’s recovering from surgery, so I’ll take food. Yes, that will happen, but only because I was approached by a proactive friend and asked to pick a date.
I’m going to be so sweet to Steve today. But then I almost slam the taxi door on his head and when he protests, I yell, “Well, how was I to know you were going to stick your head back in there? I was the last one out!” After 46 years of marriage, have I not figured out that he always has to examine the taxi seat one more time to be sure we got everything?
I’m going to write all day—25 minutes, then a 5-minute break. But then there’s my exercise class and my glycopeel appointment. And sure, honey, I’d love to pick up my adorable grandson while you get your hair cut.
I’m really going to study ahead for the Wednesday Bible study I lead. Doesn’t happen. Last minute cramming again.
Lord, I desperately want to spend time with you today. But then there are all the other things that fill my day, and I need to get started early to get it all done. I’ll pray in the car. Doesn’t happen for long. Other thoughts bombard me, interrupting my prayers. So I pray for my loved ones and especially the grandchildren, their parents, the children’s future spouses and their parents, our President, his advisors, the Congress, the upcoming election. That’s as far as I get. What about those marriages I need to pray for? And the single parents? And those struggling with gender issues, or relationship issues, or financial challenges? Maybe I’ll get to them tomorrow, if I can get up early enough.
I’ll get to bed earlier tonight so I can get up earlier tomorrow. Right. And then there’s the “Downton Abbey” I haven’t seen, and Scrabble and Words with Friends to respond to. Early to bed never happens for me.
So I’d better be right on top of that forgiving others thing, because I have tons to be forgiven of every day.
“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:15