Sooner or later trouble moves in and how you address it makes all the difference in the world. Whatever you do, don’t do what most people do.
Ironically, you won’t notice when trouble moves in. At first you just assume he is a visiting house guest. You may even show him the town. Then it happens.
You come home one day and his socks are in your drawer. One morning you walk in to the bathroom and he’s using your toothbrush. You ask him to leave. He doesn’t.
You call the police to have him removed, and they do. There is peace and quiet, but you’re left to wonder when he’ll be back.
Some aren’t as fortunate. Trouble moves in and takes up permanent residence. He comes in the form of chronic pain, fatigue, uneasiness, debt….
Before most people do the right thing, they usually try to solve the problem on their own. Thankfully, we all have a device to help. With our devices we can find all of the information we need in the wink of an eye. For example, if it’s 9:00 Friday night or 1 a.m Wednesday morning, our problems are no match for our device. You guessed it, our cellphones and computers.
Most of us as Christians would never dream of consulting a fortune teller or a Ouija Board. Yet, all you have to do is type in your symptoms and problems and the race is on. You can spend hours finding out what is wrong with you. In some cases there are even videos people made who had what you probably have.
However, after the satisfaction of diagnosing your illness, your original houseguest shows up and is more annoying than ever. He convinces you that really you should call the under taker and make your final arrangements.
While this may all strike you as comical, the truth is our over-dependance on knowledge can be a handicap rather than a blessing. True knowledge is wonderful, the problem is that anyone with a keyboard and a domain can come across as an authority today. In ancient days it was called the power of the pen. Today we call it the internet.
Now before you write this author off as a crack pot, please understand he is not against knowledge. But this is the tendency I see. As a society we have reached a point where we value quick answers rather than discipline and commitment to the long haul.
For example, when it comes to debt, it’s inexpensive and convenient to just go online and listen to a six minute Youtube video on debt reduction. No big deal. If it doesn’t take, we’re not out of anything.
If our marriages are struggling, we decide we’ll try going to church online. That’s not to say there aren’t great videos online. There are. However, we weren’t designed to do life alone, we’re designed for relationship.
The crux of the matter is that most of us prefer self-certified experts rather than professionals. By now, you’ve probably figured out that your sister-in-law, although she doesn’t charge and her intentions are good, may be adding to your problems rather than helping them every time you call her for advice.
Look at it this way, when you have a tooth ache, do you go see your neighbor Tom and have him use the tools in his toolbox to fix your tooth? That’s ridiculous you say, but what’s the difference between that and going online when you need personal spiritual advice?
It’s hard to believe it but we live in a day when pastors are considered just a step below used car salesmen. They’re to be avoided at all costs, unless of course you’re in a jam.
The good news is you may not be as sick as you think you are. Maybe the pain you’re currently experiencing is just a gift to help you get the help you need.
I know this one lady who couldn’t stop bleeding for twelve years! She was constantly on the look out for help and spent every last penny she had in the process. Not only did she experience physical pain, she experienced emotional pain in the form of shame and was constantly accosted psychologically! Finally, she met a Dr. who treated her and cured her illness. Can you imagine her joy?
When we try to save a dollar or some time, by taking a “shortcut”, we often do more damage than good. It’s not that they’re aren’t any experts these days, there are. The problem is there are a lot of counterfeits.
In your search for the real thing, don’t let the counterfeits discourage you. Again, they are often well meaning and readily available but that doesn’t mean they deserve a minute of your time. In fact, the minute you stop referencing them, they’ll go away.
You, yourself may be an expert. Congratulations! We need more people just like you. However, just because you’re an expert in one field, it doesn’t make you an expert in all fields. Taking it just a step further, if you’re a mechanic, I’d be willing to bet your own car is in much need of repair. If you’re an accountant, I bet you’re own books are a mess and you have the habit of spending more than you make. Yes, you may be an expert and you’re helping a lot of people but you are also the proverbial cobbler whose own kids have no shoes.
In fact, I bet if I were to ask you to name someone who is an expert in your field, you’d be able to blurt out their name without a moment’s notice. Why don’t you call them and talk with them? Do you think a dentist drills and fills his own teeth?
Perhaps by now we’re tapping a bit closer to the heart of the matter. We all believe we can do it alone, when it was always designed to be a team effort. Find an expert with ‘skin on’. Stop trickling away your fortune to multitudes of lazy boy quarterbacks and pay the expert his reasonable fee. Those freebies that have got you this far may be just fine for now but you know they’re going to fail you at 3 a.m when you crash and there isn’t anyone around to help you get the help you need.
“And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.” Mark 5:29