You Can’t and That’s Good

Erik Cooper —  June 27, 2012 — Leave a comment

It’s not much of a secret that I don’t do power tools. Trust me, it’s better for everyone this way–my kids, the dog, the insurance companies, EMT workers everywhere.

But a few nights ago there was a manly job that needed to be done, and there were no real men around to do it. So I tapped in. I needed some assistance, so I called the one guy who taught me everything I don’t know about exterior demolition: My Dad.

Two trees needed to be uprooted at our soon-to-be new house. He had the truck. I had the momentary lapse of judgment. We strapped the trunk to the front bumper and fell ourselves a few trees! I haven’t felt that manly since…well…ever.

We soon learned a rather obvious truth–knocking things down is pretty easy. Cleaning up is the hard work.

We chopped the trees into smaller pieces, loaded them in the back of the truck, and hauled them to a nearby dumpster. But one remaining stump was covered in such a mass of dirt and mud, it easily weighed over 125 pounds. I could drag it a few inches here and there, but disposing of it was simply a bigger job than I could handle by myself.

What could I do? I’d already sent my dad and his truck home. I was alone. Until a contractor that had been doing some work on the house came strolling out of the garage.

Need some help?

Nah, man. I got it. Don’t worry about it. (Lie)

No really, lemme help you. I’ve got an ax.

Ah, I’ll get it. Seriously. I hate to bother you. (Pride)

How are you gonna get rid of this mess on your own?

Dangit! I had done so good up to this point! The testosterone was flowing! The V8 engine was revving! The hair on my chest was pushing through my shirt like I was Magnum P.I.! (Self-righteousness)

But he was right. There was no way I could finish the job. It was simply bigger than me. I needed help.

I treat God that way, too. I shun the gift of grace. The power to live that comes only from His Spirit. The righteousness that I’m only capable of because of Jesus Christ. All because it feels so good inside to accomplish it on my own! To do, instead of accepting that it is done. (Gospel).

“Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.” -Colossians 1:22 NLT

Effort makes us feel really good about ourselves, but it will never clean up our mess.

Will you be stubborn like me and keep trying?

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