Real change begins with honesty.
My phone desperately needs a charge. Right now I’m off the grid and feeling like I’m missing out on something. It’s terrible.
I’m sitting here being grumpy and feeling like nothing’s going right. Maybe I’m overreacting just a bit, but you see, today’s been a dreary day. Gray, misty, rainy, and it had a rough start. My bad day actually started with my phone. Chiming and chiming and chiming, and me fumbling awake trying to figure out how to turn the blasted thing off. By the time I had succeeded, I was fully awake and missing the snooze feature.
From there things deteriorated. I had to get the plunger and fix the toilet. Then my printer wouldn’t work. Then the dog made a mess. Then I was late to work. And I could go on, but I’ll stop.
Unlike my phone, though, I can’t just plug myself in and make everything all better. That would be nice. I know I could wrap this all up with a spiritual analogy about plugging into Jesus—the perfect prescription to fill the soul-drained day, but what does that actually look like?
Sometimes the little hits life throws our way can’t be fixed with positive thinking or a bunch of spiritualizing. Sometimes all we can do is admit that we’ve been knocked down by a flat tire or bad plumbing, and then face those moments with our weary honesty.
I spent my drive in to work fuming and sputtering and explaining to God just how things were not as they should be. Now, hours later, I feel a little silly about that. I mean a messed up printer and dead cell phone are nothing compared to real problems. But this is where I am, and at least it’s authentic. I could have faked it and acted like it didn’t bother me, like I was bigger than that, but the truth is, I’m not. I struggle with little things, and this is what I bring to God.
You know, maybe the point isn’t for us to “plug in” to truth and God so that we can be juiced up and ready to go out there again. Maybe the point is for us to be where we are—exhausted, beat up, grumpy, and struggling, so that he can change us. It’s not me being a better person. It’s me being a changed person. Only God can do that. It’s more than feeling better about a stinky day. It’s a metamorphosis.
The plan isn’t to put new clothes on us, energize us, and give us a better attitude. The plan is to make us new. We’re meant for more than just our broken humanity. The dead has gone. The new has come.
So my dead cell phone and grump of a day has turned into my opportunity to be real, put it out there, and then trust that God will transform me. Just remember, we’re not yet who we’re meant to be. The next time you have a bad day take a second to ask God what it is that might need to be changed in you, and then leave it with him. The change may not be immediate, but chances are he will take you from where you are to where you’re meant to be.