Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Loves Me This I Know"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 139:1-3 – Lord, you have tested me, so you know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know my thoughts from far away. You know where I go and where I lie down. You know everything I do. (ERV)
In early February, I had just left an art store with supplies to make earrings when I saw a city parking officer put an extra coin in an expired meter rather than write a ticket for a battered old car. Her small kindness made me appreciate what a hard job she had, probably often being yelled at for just doing what she was paid to do.
On the way home, I decided that my first pair of earrings would be for female parking staff: a tiny ticket for one ear and a meter for the other. But I needed a model for the ticket. Searching the gutter, I discovered one torn in half where someone had thrown it, never in a million years thinking that it might end up being immortalized in the ears of parking staff. As soon as I got home, I sized it down with a photocopier to an inch long and half an inch wide, and laminated it.
The staff told me later that they immediately took the earring to a photocopier and blew it back up to full size. With the details, they were then able to issue a second and more expensive version, reserved for those who ignore their first summons. I hadn't foreseen how things might go. I could only imagine the surprise on the face of the one who was sure that he'd just torn up that ticket and thrown it away.
Ripping up tickets is a refusal to deal with life on its own terms — an exercise in futility, because parking fines must be paid. The devil is in the details. When Christians procrastinate in dealing with difficulties, sin, and sinful habits, it can lead to paralysis. Other folks get hurt when we put off for some future date what God has given us to deal with right now. It is the small things that we sweep under the rug that grow and rankle. Out of sight, out of mind, we think, but when we fill up our "nows" with "laters", they quickly turn to "nevers". Then, we are in a mountain-out-of-a-molehill situation, and nobody gets anywhere mountain climbing on a molehill. We must not sneak around looking for a way out; we have to deal with what is right in front of us to do — now!
Psalm 139:23-24 – God, examine me and know my mind. Test me and know all my worries. Make sure that I am not going the wrong way. Lead me on the path that has always been right. (ERV)
Prayer: Dear Lord of all being, we give You our wills to obey as we walk in Your freedom. May the living of our lives attract others as Your life is grown in us and us in You. May our behaviour, especially in the small things, point to what You mean to us. Strengthen our weakness as we accept the teaching of Your Spirit, shining from Your Word. In the name of Your Son, we pray. Amen.