Monday, February 9, 2009

Picking Up My Teeth and Pride

“Picking Up My Pride and Teeth” by Beaux E. Hinote
We had decided to drive from our apartment in Fort Worth to Pinnacle Mountain in Arkansas. My wife Amy and I loved to hike and this would be a weekend trip that would not only bring our newlywed relationship closer, but give us some much needed outdoor activity, something we had not partaken of in a very long time. We prepared for our trip and rid ourselves of the busy schedule of graduate schooling and our professional lives. We had even gone to Target to buy some camping “necessities” to make our mountain hiking/climbing experience a more comfortable experience. We packed through the night as we prepared for a weekend of backwoods trails, panoramic views, and precious experiences together as we walked through the pristine wilderness of Arkansas. The morning of the trip was closing and we needed to get ready to get on the road. Newly married, as most of you know, means newly poor, as most of us come into the hardest year of your marriage struggling financially. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all marry into money? Well, since funds were on the lower end of the spectrum and we knew we needed the cash we had for gas and park fees, we decided to pack a lunch. Plus, it would be a healthier alternative to the fast food stops that we would make to and from our expedition area. Now to help you picture this, I will describe the kitchen in our apartment to the best my memory can muster up. The kitchen was an 8 by 8 foot room, filled with cabinets on lining the sides, a sink, fridge, and a dishwasher that did little to actually cleanse our dishes from after-meal residues. To say the least, it was small, miniscule, and very difficult to maneuver in, whether you were making a sandwich or a dinner for two. We, maybe, had 12 square feet of counter space, if that at all. So while we were busily filling our ice chests with ice, drinks, and snacks, the kitchen was filled with human activity, busy arms and hands, and a huge amount of close quartered preparations being accomplished all at once. Amy was making turkey and cheese sandwiches on wheat as I pulled the needed paper goods from a cabinet above her head. I close the top cabinet as Amy was talking about this and that’s. She then asked a question. It just so happened that she asked the question while I was in the middle of a thought process. I was thinking about getting our “green” eco-friendly water bottles down. I was thinking about opening a cabinet. I was thinking about one thing, water bottles, while I was trying to perceive another, the question. In the midst of my thinking, I opened the cabinet and smacked my face with the wooden door, busting my lip and chipping my front left tooth. I immediately became humiliated, as my wife of two months, laughed at the sight before her. “This is your fault”, I exclaimed as I grasped my mouth, blush red with embarrassment. “No, No! You busted yourself”, she laughed as she held her heart, as if she was going faint from the hilarity of the moment. She was right; I hated the truth, but she was right. I inflicted this pain upon myself. I caused this mess and now I had a busted mouth and a chipped tooth to show for it. This was going to be a long weekend. Most importantly, would I be able to eat the wonderful picnic banquet that awaited my appetite only feet away.
In our lives, we cause ourselves pain, busted marriages, broken relationships, financial black eyes that cripple ourselves and wound us as we try to live in this world that is already looking for ways to destroy us and overlook our existence. We, yes “WE”, inflict a lot of unnecessary pain upon ourselves by not taking our time when crisis arises and hurry to make remedy of the situation without taking into account what God would like us to do in the dilemma. We sin, that’s truly what this is. We sin because we want to solve our woes ourselves. We sin because we think we can take care of these problems by short cuts, selfish solutions, or advice from the world around us that is failing itself. We sin because we dismiss God’s commandments for our lives, His guidelines that would serve to make us successful and bless us, and decide to make these life-altering choices ourselves. In short, we inflict pain on ourselves, because we sin, thinking we know better than God. And when we hurt ourselves through the sins in our lives, we look to the heavens and ask God, “WHY? Why did you let this happen to me?” He just smiles and says “No, No! You did that on your own. Do you want my help now?” Maybe we should take Jesus upon His offer in Matthew 11; He asks us to consider this, saving us the pain that we have self-inflicted upon us:
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

Have you had enough of being hurt? Give in to Christ; you won’t regret it and neither will your teeth or pride.