Last night our furnace went out. Yep.
As Icemageddon, Snoprah, or whatever term of endearment you gave this September baby boom to be, bore down angrily on seemingly every poor soul in this great nation, my 11 year old furnace decided to be a quitter. To take its warm air and go home. Stupid baby.
And my testosterone levels began dropping with every degree of the thermostat.
You see, I likely know more about the governmental policies of Albania than I know about fixing a furnace. In fact, I don’t know much of anything about fixing anything in our house (except a pot of coffee). And my wife’s concern combined with my kids cold noses quickly began mixing into a toxic soup of self-doubt.
Why haven’t you learned how to do these things?
Your family can’t count on you.
Their impending frost bite is your fault.
Why don’t you ever remember to replace the filter?
And instead of wrestling with the real issue at hand, I quickly engaged in battle with my own insecurities. The focus shifted from helping my family to swimming around (or more like ice fishing I guess) in worthless self-indulgence. I was in danger of quitting just like my furnace.
I think this happens with God, too. I wrote about it in a little different way last week, and even talked about it at City Community Church this past Sunday.
I think one of the enemy’s greatest tactics is to get us engaged in the wrong battle.
Jesus came to mess with our normal. To disrupt. His words are often disturbing. Challenging. Meant to leave us questioning our self-driven motivations. Jesus stands in the road with His hand out as if to say, “You don’t want to go that way. Trust me. You want to follow me. There is more to this life than the pursuit of yourself.”
These are realities worth wrestling with.
But many of us choose instead to clash with insecurity. With shame. With comparison. With condemnation. Why am I not more like that guy? Why don’t I have those talents? When am I going to be that way?
And we become easily distracted from true Kingdom conflict. The kind of conflict that really matters. That can change us and the world around us.
Self pity wasn’t going to fix my furnace last night. A few phone calls, a creative wife, a vacuum cleaner, a courageous trip to Menard’s for a new filter, (an angry, ignorant smack on the side of the unit here and there), and a desperate prayer for supernatural intervention, however? That did it. That was the battle worth engaging.
Are you engaging the right battle? The one that really matters? Are you wrestling with Jesus words in your life or just your own insecurities?