We are in Wallowa, Oregon with Kathy’s family. It is always fun to be with them and to also be away from the routines of home for a few days. As we arrived to Kathy’s sister’s place, we unloaded and headed to her store in Joseph to see her. While visiting with her a person I know well from my consulting work walked by. I didn’t say anything but told Kathy and Mary about her walking by. Instantly they both said, “Why didn’t you say something?” This took me by surprise because I knew I hadn’t said anything knowing this person wouldn’t want to say anything to me. We have a great relationship, but my response comes from the depth of “old me” rather than the new creation I am. About 30 minutes later Kathy’s niece by marriage walked by and saw me. We talked for several minutes. She brought up an incident I didn’t know she even knew about. It was a time when her husband and I were throwing horseshoes 20 years ago. I was winning and her husband got very mad. I told him if he was going to behave this way I would simply leave which I did. The next day he apologized for his actions and that was the end of it. Now 20 years later she was bringing it up to me. She said her husband thought I was taunting him with my winning and that made him mad. She had told him this–“You think this ‘nice’ man would do that to you?”
These two scenarios left me a little more awake about how I see myself. I would always say that I want to be nice but I actually track what I do that isn’t nice. I want to talk to people I see but if they don’t engage the conversation, rarely will I. I always think I’m bothering them. All of this just tells me God isn’t done with me yet.
Lastly, in this morning’s Bible reading I once again see the kings of Judah doing what is right with God but not tearing down the “high places”. I use to read this and think the kings should have been more awake. This time when I read this I realize I’m just like them. I do what I think God wants me to do but I want those high places close by just in case I need to fall back on them. As I write this I realize how dependent I’ve been. I’ve kept them so I would have something I could feel good about just for a moment robbing myself of the opportunity for God to “make me feel good”. All of us have behaviors/habits which we use like this. However, I sense God’s nudge to let these go completely now. I don’t need them close by any longer. Wow, our God is so amazing and good!