This is not going to be the most profound post you read this week. Trust me. Some of my failures as a Christian have come out of fear, anger, and failure to trust God. Other times it’s just me being a bonehead. Let’s look at the lighter side of Christianity, shall we? Here is a lighthearted (and partial, I’m sure) list of the dumb things I do that probably have God face palming on a regular basis. Tell me yours in the comments (don’t leave me hanging here people). We’ll have a good laugh about it and learn a little along the way.
- Completely spacing out during the Lord’s Prayer. We know the prayer. We probably memorized it when we were six or so. We can rattle that thing off no problem. But don’t ask me to start it in the middle. I don’t actually KNOW it. I just have it memorized, for goodness sake. Kind of like the Christian version of having to sing the whole Alphabet Song in order to remember that R comes after Q. Admit it. You just sang a little bit of it to check me. So tonight we were all gathered up on our bed like we do every night for some prayers and Bible. We ended it like we always do, with the Lord’s Prayer. My youngest daughter had fallen asleep before we even started prayers and I was thinking about how exactly I was going to hoist her up into her loft bed without dropping her on her head. This is a good thing to think about, but I realized I was planning this all out while still rattling off The Lord’s Prayer mindlessly. It makes me wonder just how often I do that. Probably a lot. Mission for tomorrow is to get through The Lord’s Prayer with some intentionality. No more mindless drone prayers.
- Falling asleep while praying. I usually pray at the end of the day. Nothing wrong with that, unless of course your head is parked on your uber soft comfy pillow. It takes the average person seven minutes to fall asleep once their head hits the pillow. I think you cut this down by about six minutes if you’re praying at the same time. This works for some people. My mother prays right before she goes to sleep and she’s like a prayer ninja. But for me, this is pretty much the equivalent of tossing God a few scrap minutes at the end of my busy day. Not cool. I had a long talk the other day with a friend and I told him about my pillow-praying habit and the look on his face was classic. Without saying a word, he let me know that I was being lame. Mission for tomorrow: Pray when I wake up and give God the best minutes of my day, not just the ones left over until I sack out.
- Super inconsistent giving. Major confession for a guy who writes a blog about trusting God: I’m not sure if I tithe. And anyone who isn’t sure probably isn’t tithing. I get commissions at work, so we’ve written some pretty big checks for offering at church. This is great, unless you back up those big checks with five weeks of nothing. I justify it by reminding myself that I teach Sunday School. Lame alert! This is not how God designed us. The idea behind tithing isn’t that God made a spreadsheet and figured out He needs 10% from each of us. The idea is that it is a regular (regular!) reminder of the gifts we have. And a 10% cut in exchange for salvation is a pretty sweet deal. Mission for November: Give weekly and if I’m not tithing, I’d better get my tail in gear and get it done.
- Being in debt. What does being in debt have to do with being a Christian? The answer is in a funny phrase that Dave Ramsey likes to say. “You know what people who are debt free do with their money? Whatever they want.” I dump a few thousand dollars a month down the toilet bowl of debt and I could be using that to help others or, heaven forbid, tithe. The main charity I am promoting these days is the Citibank Foundation for Morons Who Spend More Than They Make. Hey listen, I get it. There are people out there with credit card bills because they had no choice. I’m not one of them. I was a bonehead, and God is the one left holding the bill. Proverbs tells us that the borrower is slave to the lender. Tell me about it. Mission: Attack debt like crazy and get my life back.
- Flipping out on Facebook. Hello. My name is Jim and I post political hate on Facebook. “Hi Jim,” says the whole room. Okay, I’m taking some credit for this one and patting myself on the back for steering clear of posting political rants on Facebook for a long time actually. It was this blog, in fact, which replaced the time I previously had spent freaking out about one politician or another. So on this one, I’m giving myself a little credit. Number of lives changed ranting on Facebook: Zero. Number of lives changed here? Counting myself, it’s at least one. And that’s cool. Yay me.
That’s definitely a partial list. The full list is available from my wife. Sorry for being a bonehead, God. I think I’m doing pretty well with some of the big stuff. But the little stuff matters too. And confession is a good thing. So c’mon. Give it up. We all have an inner bonehead. What are you doing that has God doing a face-palm in your general direction?
We were built to be heroes.
Sometimes we’re boneheads instead.