Let me say up front that I’m not going make a big ado about what people think of Max Lucado. Personally, I don’t know the man, and I haven’t even read enough about him to begin forming an opinion. Currently, I’m reading his book “Traveling Light,” and it’s making enough sense to me that I wanted to share the following passges from his book with whomever might be interested. The last paragraph especially packs a punch.
All I needed to do was apologize, but I had to argue.
All I needed to do was listen, but I had to open my big mouth.
All I needed to do was be patient, but I had to take control.
All I had to do was give it to God, but I had to fix it myself.
Too much stubbornness. Too much independence. Too much self-reliance.
We humans want to do things our way. Forget the easy way. Forget the common way. Forget the best way. Forgot God’s way. We want to do things our way.
And, according to the Bible, that’s precisely our problem. “We all have wandered away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way” (Isaiah 53:6).
Sheep are dumb!
What’s more, sheep are dirty.
Couldn’t David have thought of a better metaphor?
“The Lord is my commander in chief, and I am his warrior.” There. We like that better. A warrior gets a uniform and a weapon, maybe even a medal.
Or, “The Lord is my inspiration, and I am his singer.” We are in God’s choir; what a flattering assignment.
Or, “The Lord is my king, and I am his ambassador.” Who wouldn’t like to be a spokesperson for God?
Still uncomfortable with being considered a sheep? Will you humor me and take a simple quiz? See if you succeed in self-reliance. Raise your hand if any of the following describe you.
You can control your moods. You’re never grumpy or sullen…always upbeat and upright.
You are at peace with everyone. Every relationship as sweet as fudge… Love all and loved by all.
You have no fears. Wall Street plummets—no problem. Heart condition discovered—yawn.
You need no forgiveness. Never made a mistake. As clean as grandma’s kitchen.
Let’s evaluate this. You can’t control your moods. A few of your relationships are shaky. You have fears and faults. Hmmm. Do you really want to hang on to your [baggage] of self-reliance? Sounds to me as if you could use a shepherd. Otherwise, you might end up with a Twenty-third Psalm like this:
I stumble from mall to mall and shrink to shrink, seeking relief but never finding it.
I creep through the valley of the shadow of death and fall apart.
I fear everything from pesticides to power lines, and I’m starting to act like my mother.
I go down to the weekly staff meeting and am surrounded by enemies. I go home, and even my goldfish scowls at me.
I anoint my headache with extra-strength Tylenol.
My Jack Daniel’s runneth over.
Surely misery and misfortune will follow me, and I will live in self-doubt for the rest of my lonely life.
And that’s the question, isn’t it? WHY can I not get this through my thick skull? WHY can I not learn to rely on God? WHY do I keep making the same stupid mistakes over and over again? I am one of the ones who most needs the Shepherd, and yet I resist him. I don’t ask him for help, I don’t talk to him about my problems, worries, and needs, and I persist in holding on to the silly notion that I can rely on things that aren’t even real.
Being human is sometimes so ridiculously frustrating!!!