I needed some water. The beach always quenches my thirst.
It’s been an awesome Spring Break this past week. Had a chance to rent an awesome beach house getaway with every amenity imaginable for the grown-ups and kids, gaze upon the ocean and let it speak to me, even ride a bike after umpteen years around town (there will be no YouTube video of those shenanigans lol – I’m done with bikes for a second).
As Love would have it, I also had a chance to learn another life lesson. The topic?
Pain….as taught by friendly Officer Quick. Not physical pain, but pain in my doggone pockets!
No one sets out to start Spring Break vacation with a speeding ticket. Did I know I was speeding? Yeah. But the smooth ride of the Nissan Quest we rented seemed to mask my actual velocity *enter excuses here*. I’d forgotten all about cruise control *enter reasons there*. When I saw those flashing blue lights, there was really nothing else to say. But all I could think was, “I bet after the pain of this ticket, you’ll quit speeding and slow your butt down!” Ouch.
“Yessir, Officer Quick – I agree; I need to slow down.”
Quitters, we know what we’re doing, don’t we? We eat that 3rd Krispy Kreme doughnut on full. We wrap that lie in a pretty “white” label and proudly send it on its way. We overspend, live beyond our means, knowing full well Peter’s tired of being robbed to pay Paul. But we do it anyway – why?
Because it doesn’t hurt (enough), yet!
Daily, God gives us chances to get our house in order. Our lives are filled with events and circumstances that serve as signs and billboards for us to become aware of ourselves, and quit a destructive behavior. Laced in every golden opportunity that we REJECT is Love and Grace – protecting us from the sho ’nuff [excruciating] pain, giving us more time and chances to “get it” on the next go ’round.
But if you’re anything like me, it becomes needful for you to run FACE FIRST into pain, embarrassment, loss, heartache – to finally get your attention, for you to change your ways – when actually…wait for it….
It really didn’t HAVE to hurt at all!
See, Love knows we’re not perfect, that we’re often selfish, self-centered. We need some serious help in these human bodies, and most times a single chance won’t cut it. But did you know that we can tie Love’s hands to the point where another chance would actually be harmful to our development? That shielding us from pain is counter-productive to our growth?
In my ticket story, Officer Quick exemplified Love. It broke my heart to hear him say, “Ma’am I want to help you. If you were going, maybe, 85mph, I could do something with that….but over 90? You just need to slow down.” Shucks!
God is not tripping because we miss! That’s why we have access to fresh, new mercies and abundant Love everyday. You don’t have to get a perfect score on the first test; Love works on a curve, not one based on comparing you to others, but assessing you against progress towards fulfilling your Love-plan.
What was even worse was…the Officer asked me if I get comments regarding my name. Bright.
Hmm, was speeding the “bright” thing to do?
Quitter Question: What does Love call you? What is your name, and do your actions, behaviors, and thoughts honor your name, or contradict it?
Let’s face it. Some of us will only learn the hard, painful way. We won’t end the affair until we’re busted. We won’t quit promiscuous behavior until we receive positive STD test results. We won’t stop the lies until someone we love gets hurt. We won’t forgive until the stress it takes to hold the grudge begins to affect our health.
But I want to encourage you to “Say No!” to the pain. Recognize and seize those painless opportunities to change. They are gifts, let me tell ya. We all have an equal opportunity to say, “You know what? That didn’t hurt at all!”
Has pain ever driven you to change? What are you committing to change before all ‘pain’ breaks out?
Prayer-note: “Dear Love, I quit needing pain to drive me to change. I will appreciate the gifts to change without it having to hurt.”
- What’s Your Quit-Deed? (dearloveiquit.wordpress.com)