Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I am Not That Bad

I am a fan of the show Hoarders and Hoarders, Buried Alive. My husband declares often that I am a "hoarder". I agree I do have a bit of a hoarder mentality. I admit, I watch this show to feel better about my own slight compulsion "to aquire." I relate to the Romans who cheered as the Christians were being fed to the lions. Do you know why they cheered? Because they were not the ones being gnawed by lions! 

In a voyeuristic sense, as I clean and purge during the commercials, a mantra filters through my brain in an endless loop until the program comes back on or I have fast forwarded to the next segment. My mantra, "I am not as bad as them. They breed roaches and do not clean up animal feces,  human feces and garbage - - and as if that were not bad enough, they sleep and eat in filth and do not believe anything is wrong with living that way!"

The crowd chants and cheers as the lion bares his teeth and his nostrils flare with the fresh scent of prey. His victims look heavenward ready to meet their maker. 

They cheer. I cheer - because I am not them. Or so I believe I would never be them. Watching them be eaten fulfills something sinful in me that gives me relief. That is them. Not me. Watching the situation unfold somehow empowers me. This is the human condition.

After watching a recent Hoarders episode, I noticed just after the ending credits a memorial tribute for Dr. Johan Rosqvist. I did not recall him from any of the shows (I have watched many episodes and know all the counselors and organizers). I Googled his name and was speechless as I learned of his demise http://www.oregonlive.com/forest-grove/index.ssf/2012/05/pacific_university_mourns_deat.html.

He was an expert. He was a pro. He was helping people with heightened anxiety disorders of which many of us suffer with but ours is currently in a much less heightened level (we have either gotten help or we have been spared the intense propensities).

The shoemakers children have no shoes. An accountant files bankruptcy and discloses personal financial trouble. The dentist with yellow teeth. All of these images come to mind. A therapist ends his life because of - - what?

What was Dr. Johan thinking before he took his life? How long had he cheered and applauded in the stands in the coliseum as the lions attacked - someone else? When possibly his own heart was breaking, his back had held the last straw of suffering and who did he turn to? No one. His mental health had failed. His techniques not worked - or never been applied? Where were his peers? Were they cheering in the stands while he smelled the lion's breath before taking his last breath?

And I question God. God, how many times have I appointed myself to be the "The Expert" without consulting you first? How many times have I left you out of a situation in which I clearly heard "Danger Will Robinson, Danger" but kept going full throttle ahead into disaster?

And on cue, He replies,  John 15:5, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.


But God, I am really good at (fill in the blank) and I can help them! I can teach them! I can heal them of their anxiety.  

"Daughter, have I given you that assignment? How will you accomplish My will? My plan? My work? "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

Only if you do the work in me God. Apart from You I can do nothing. I will fail. I will flounder. I will not finish the race that You intended. Lord Jesus, Your will be done.

Ahh thank you Lord.

For when we profess to be the expert but leave God out of our day to day activities (our work, play, child rearing, conversations, lack of prayer time, etc), we set ourselves up for failure. Every time.

And so, with a heavy heart I realize how often I judge others from the sidelines.I compare. I entertain myself with voyeuristic tendencies. I rush off from a God appointment knowing the person I just talked with had a tear which she thought she had wiped away, but the dirt stain left a trail down her cheek. What would have happened if I had ministered to her, jumped off my judgment throne and listened? This is what God would have wanted. After all, He is the best listener and would have worked through me to love her - to be the hands and feet of Christ. 

How different it would have been if someone had been there for Dr. Johan. How different to be handing him the tissues. What a different outcome if he had invited God in to the hidden chambers in his heart.

Oh God that we would do less cheering and more ministry. Yes God, I am that bad - but You are that good and so much more.....