by Sarah Hylton
When I was in high school, I used to have what some affectionately called a “Mary Poppins” room. It was so orderly. So clean. Everything had to be straightened to perfection. On occasion, my brother would wander in and maliciously wrinkle my bed, just because it upset me. Nonchalantly, I would wait for him to leave the room and then hurriedly straighten it once he was gone.
Over the years, I had assumed that God had brought me past my need for perfection. That was until a few nights ago. A friend of mine asked me, “Sarah, when are you going to stop trying to straighten the corners of your life?”
I don’t think I’ll ever forget those words.
On my way home that night, I cried one thing to the Lord, “God, why is it I keep trying to straighten the corners of my bed when you’ve already cleaned the whole house? Do I not think it’s enough?!”
Hebrews 9:26-27 and 1 Peter 3:18, which state that Christ died once for all, prove that indeed, He was enough. His selfless act of love and sacrifice was enough to appease God’s wrath toward all mankind for all the sins we would EVER commit. And it didn’t come easily; He suffered for all of us. Why is it so hard to accept this?
When we were children, we would accept gifts without a second thought. We ripped into them, barely remembering to utter a “thank you.” However, crossing the line of adulthood, we cannot accept gifts the same way. There must be a payment, a favor returned. We become independent and prideful–out to prove that we can earn our own life and take care of ourselves.
I began to question what areas of my life I was doing this in–school, work …my Christian life? Yes. Why was I striving in my Christian life? To please God? Or to promote the opinion others have of me? What was my motivation for service? God? Or me? Unfortunately, I couldn’t answer truthfully that I always sought to please God. Often times, I find myself secretly trying to steal the stage from God in my life.
Although my soul cries out to make itself heard like a backstage hand for a performance, God is the one behind the scenes of my life. He’s the one who plans, organizes, and orchestrates everything. Even though He has characters selected to play a part, He is the writer, director, stagehand and the one in control of all that happens. My sinful nature has always tried to commandeer the right of the spotlight. Like “the man behind the curtain” in the Wizard of Oz, it tries to sneak in and do the arranging, planning, and producing. Such a subtle move for an obvious act.
If only we would just sit back and submit to His authority. He knows what’s best and He’s already taken care of everything we hurry to accomplish.
Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow.
I can’t improve upon perfection. It’s time I come out from behind the curtain and accept the part God has asked me to play.