We like our faith stories big, don’t we? We love BIG stories about people overcoming BIG obstacles.
The man who runs after he’s told he’ll never walk. The cancer that disappears, against all odds. The gifted-but-penniless vocalist who sings her way to the $500,000 prize on a TV show. The inner-city boy who becomes a sports star.
Yep. These stories are our favs.
There’s a story subset of this genre that we like too: Faith Stories With a Twist.
Like the “Pushing the Rock” story that’s been around the internet for years, the story of a man who was told by his God to push against a large rock with all his might.
“This the man did, and for many days he toiled from sunup to sundown; his shoulder set squarely against the cold massive surface of the rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling his whole day had been spent in vain.”
The “in vain” part wears the man down. He gets discouraged. He eventually asks God what the problem is.
And the story ends with God reminding the man that the task was TO PUSH, and that because of the pushing, the man is now strong, well-muscled and possesses abilities that far surpass those he started with.
It was never about the rock. It was always about the man. The man God knew he could become.
Aaaaah yes, we DO love our obstacle stories.
I’m no exception. I love those stories too. It’s just that today I have a different obstacle story to tell.
Sometimes in life, you're chugging along quite nicely when you round a curve and *BAM* there it is. No warning. It’s. Just. There. An unexpected obstacle.
Today I'm going to share a secret we – (we, the often-imperfect but ever-earnest members of the Kingdom of Heaven) – have learned.
When we can’t scramble over an Obstacle, when we can’t Pray It Away <*Poof *>, when we can’t command it to “move from here to there, and it will move—” when we’ve pushed with all our might to no avail (and we’re tired and cranky and WE DON’T CARE that our muscles are bigger) –
we’ve learned that often Our Creator has left us a way –
to slip on by.
It’s not glamorous, I know. It’s not a BIG Story. But sometimes it works.
AND BEFORE YOU DISMISS THIS, I’d just like to point out that once, a long time ago, when a crowd wanted to seize Jesus of Nazareth, “Jesus slipped through the crowd and got away.” Jesus, you guys. Jesus used the slip-on-by.
So if you’re looking at an obstacle today that you did not expect, before you start pushing and praying and waiting and getting stronger...take a good long look at the obstacle and whisper something like this,
“Uhmmmm. Hey. Lord? Have you left me a way to slip on by?”
Then go about your business. Give Him a little time to answer. And if He shows you an opening –
GO! Take it! Slip on by. And you’ll be on your way again.
It’s not fancy but it works.
Look, ya'll. Let's be real. Life is hard a lot of the time.
BUT NOT ALWAYS.
Stay open to the openings He leaves for you. :)