Some things in life just don’t make sense no matter how you slice it. For example, I was out walking my dog the other evening and found something rather odd that I’ve walked over countless times but never taken a moment to consider the absurdity of the thought. Right there before my very eyes was the inscription, “sanitary sewer.” What does that even mean? I understand the concept of sanitary and the general concept of a sewer but to have the words paired together in one thought is just beyond me! I quickly discovered upon further observation that it wasn’t some rogue civil engineer playing a prank on my street, sanitary sewers are apparently a real thing.
As I meditated further on this idea of a sanitary sewer (and I must give a warning to be careful should you decide to meditate further) I started thinking about other things in life that are a mixed bag. The more I thought about it, the more indicative the phrase become of a whole host of life’s complexities.
Maybe I was getting a bit loopy from the hot Texas sun but the thought crossed my mind, that describes me!
In 2009 God got ahold of my heart in a way that I’d never experienced before. After years of fighting addiction and living life on my own terms God graciously brought me to a place of giving Him control. But even the phrase giving Him control seems so clean, so tidy but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I waded into the shallow end of a relationship with God, baggage in tow, and have gradually made my way into deeper waters. It’s the only way I could authentically come to God. It’s been a journey of releasing my junk to God and at times trying to grab it back.
In my mind growing up, coming to God was more about me and less about Jesus. Conceptually I understood that Jesus died for my sins and stood in the gap between myself and God but in my heart, it still felt like it was an all or nothing thing. If I was going to turn to God I had to do it all the way or not at all. It may seem odd but the more mature I become in my faith the more I can relate to the words of Paul in Romans 7:18-19. He says, “For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do.” Paul is being an authentic struggler as he wrestles with this paradox of being a believer fully committed to Christ yet acknowledging that deep in his heart there’s a daily battle with sin.
It was a light bulb moment on that hot Texas day, staring down at the sanitary sewer under my feet. That’s me! That’s the inscription of my life! As it turns out transformation can be a downright nasty business! But praise God He’s up for the task!
By Craig Rush • Chase Oaks Church Woodbridge Campus Pastor