When I Handle Things by Myself. Addictive Lovers of our Life, Part 8

Tired! So tired!!!

In my old age I have discovered a simple fact: the more I rely on myself, the more I under perform.

When I first started teaching in my neck of the woods, I was heavily involved with my school's extra-curricular activities as well as youth programs at my church. Combining the two didn't always turn out the way I thought it would.

When I undertook a week-long trip to Ottawa with the older kids at my school, I discovered that on such trips sleep is hardly possible (I wonder why? If you want them to come back in one piece, vigilance is a necessity!) But hey, I was young and I could do anything! Wasn't I superman?

Yeah, right!

On the Friday of our return, as we pulled into the school's parking lot, I realized I had a bunch of eager youth from my church impatiently waiting for me. I had promised to take them on a campout that weekend. What had I been thinking? And off I went, using toothpicks to keep my eyes wide-open.

As we arrived 3 hours later to our destination, the first thing I did was find my bed and sleep, Sleep and SLEEP. In fact I was so exhausted that I slept the entire weekend! And boy can I snore! The youngsters were a bit disappointed, and so was I! They did try to wake up the dead, but for some reason the dead were truly dead!

The next day, back at school, I kept yawning, and when I wasn't yawning, I was nodding off. What kind of an example had I set for my students?

Amazingly, I never was labelled as "Doopy" or "Sleepy-Head".

Yes, when I try to handle things by myself I am definitely a disappointment to those around me!

Now that I have matured in age, I know that relying on my own efforts is far from ideal. I now try to do what these hundreds of past years have taught me (Well, maybe not hundreds), I rely on the Source of my energy: on God Himself. And boy, is He amazing!

Day in, day out, I am surrounded with wacky, excited, jumping-bean-like ten year olds. God has also blessed me with an online ministry that is both active and rewarding. Although I am over the threshold of reasonable age, I am provided with the necessary energy to be there for others; and this, without yawning or snoring!

What is the unknown source of my energy? It sure isn't me! I have been diagnosed with a sleep problem and should not be able to function to the best of my abilities, but I do! And it isn't caffeine either! Coffee keeps me awake for days in a row and must be avoided at all cost! My only source of energy is my Lord and Master Jesus Christ, who always comes through when I rely on Him!

"Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally - not a bad idea since he's the God who raises the dead! " (2 Cor 1:9 The Message)

I have also discovered that salvation by works always comes up short as well. We can never reach the level that brings us any satisfaction. In all reality, Jesus is the only One who made our salvation possible and He sure doesn't need our help! "Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving." (Eph 2:8-10 The Message)

The same is true with addictive sin. None of these addictions can be broken through our own efforts. Oh, we may try successfully for awhile, but it never lasts. Only by relying on His power and especially on His love can anyone be set free: "So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through." (John 8:36-37 The Message)

He forgives not because of our efforts, but because He loves us and because we are willing to turn our back on the slime that has infested our lives: "If we admit our sins - make a clean breast of them - he won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing," (1 John 1:9 The Message)

Too often our reliance on our own efforts becomes a disappointing illicit lover that keeps us from truly experiencing Jesus in our life. Life has never been all about us; it is truly all about Him! How many disappointments could be avoided if we would only rely on the Source of Life Himself!

"Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you." (1 Peter 5:7 The Message)

"But I want so much to visit the French Polynesia!"

And then? If you let Jesus stay at the helm, your trip will be MUCH more adventuresome!

Rob Chaffart

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