Wednesday, September 3, 2008

just looking

That must be the most common phrase spoken in retail settings. From a very early age, we learn that if you claim to be "just looking", then the retail helper guy/girl will leave you alone. It is often a sentence uttered to disguise the fact that we have zero dollars to spend. If we had money, we wouldn't be in The Sharper Image browsing, we would have gone to the movies.

I fear that my Bible study all to often falls into "just looking" mode. I take a Scripture or hear a sermon and I learn something about my Creator and about me. I am given a Divine perspective on something that I had not noticed before. And there is the opportunity to buy into the truth, to do something about what I have learned. To change. But the pattern I see in myself is one of consistently unapplied knowledge. Like the man that looks in the mirror and then, when he turns around, forgets what he looks like, I have a short memory. And typically do nothing.

And this is why I am deeply grateful for God's mercy. My Father is always providing me with love and acceptance that I do not deserve. He knows that I am a little sheep that needs shepherding. He knows that if I am left to my own means, real meaningful change will probably stop when the pain begins. But by His patient hand, I will be sanctified. I will be changed.