I've been sitting here watching my Roomba (named Harry from here on out) wander aimlessly for the past 10 minutes. It's been quite frustrating in fact. Harry's got one little job to do...yet that little dude is on the struggle bus! Rather than picking up the little nuggets he's suppose to, Harry wanders aimlessly cruising right past those nuggets and then BAM, runs right into a dead end. Eventually, in most cases, Harry will turn the corner only to BAM, repeat mistake. Over and over again. This little dude cannot learn.
Sometimes it's even worse. Harry will get caught up on something and not be able to get out of it. I will watch him for two minutes struggling as he continues to make the same attempt to get out of the situation he's hung himself up on...only to fail and stay exactly where he is at...stuck. Little Harry, unable to do everything that he was created to do, eventually stops and completely gives up.
It's sad really.
I imagine this is God's view of many of us. How often do you think he watches us wandering aimlessly? How many dead end roads has He watch us get stuck at? How often does God have to watch us not learn from our mistakes? How painful do you think it is for Him to watch it? To have Him see us struggle for a long time on our own, only to give up in the end?
The fact is this is quite likely one of God's frequent views of us. And I trust that it' s far more painful for Him to watch than we can possibly imagine. These jobs he's given us, these gifts he's blessed us with...all falling short because we fail to realize just how hung up and stuck we are.
In some cases God does rescue us from those situations. Like with Harry, his momma usually bails him out. Every time patting him on the butt and sending him back on his way. God will often do this for us too. Eventually, if we turn to Him, He will bail us out. He will give us a pat, sometimes gently, sometimes not. And,He will help us get back headed in the right way. God is good that way.
But I think it's safe to say, this is not the best way, the easiest way, or the intended way that God wants us to live. He doesn't want us wandering aimlessly on our own, not learning our lesson and getting stuck in situations that lead us to give up. He's always had a better way to live.
An upgraded version of living.
Roomba's are a great example of the upgrade that I'm talking about. When I was shopping for my Harry, I had more than one option. Option one being the cheap version that I bought that roams aimlessly, not learning anything, gets stuck, and eventually gives up. Or, I could have ponied up more cash and bought the upgraded version that is robotically programmed to remember what it's learned about a room and subsequently program itself to navigate the room in an intentional, purposeful, and successful way that avoids obstacles, reroutes from dangerous hangups and always takes the right path.
One version is clearly more productive and successful in its mission. One version clearly doesn't continue making the same mistakes. And one version is clearly more pleasant for its owner to watch.
When we choose to live our lives with the truth that God has programmed to do, we can live an upgraded life. We learn from our mistakes and are programmed, from the Word of God, how to navigate our lives so we can be more intentional, purposeful and successful. We are able to avoid those dead end roads that leave us paralyzed and wanting to give up. And we are able to steer our lives down the path that God has intended for us.
No matter where you are in your faith journey, this upgraded version can work for you.
Perhaps you've never being properly programmed, God can fix that.
Perhaps you chose at one point in time to disable the chip you already had programmed, God can fix that.
Perhaps you just keep forgetting to use the upgraded version of yourself and choose the wandering version, God can fix that.
The difference between us and Roomba's is that the versions of ourselves all start out the same. We all start out as the same version as Harry. The chaotic wanderer. But we get to choose to upgrade ourselves. At any point in time we can choose to start programming ourselves to think differently, behave differently and follow Him. It doesn't require a greater expense. It just requires greater intention.
So I encourage you to start analyzing...what does your faith journey looks like? Which version would be better for you?
The robotic version or the chaotic version?