Wednesday, July 28, 2010

reboot now

Stupid flesh. Like a 16-year-old cheerleader, failure tackles me and my day is flat on the ground. Sure, if I take the time to review, I can see the slow degrees by which this need-to-vomit-at-my-own-mediocrity state was achieved. It didn't happen in an instant, although there was an inflection point where my acceleration undoubtedly changed sign. I could probably even pinpoint the that happened. I might even be tempted to think, "If I just hadn't crossed that line." Youth ministers scared the hell out of me as a young person because they had me convinced that there was some line of sexual temptation past which there was "no return" and I would become a lycan-like creature fueled by unstoppable lust. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you shouldn't set (very conservative) boundaries past which you know you'll probably fail. I'm just saying that in reality, there isn't a single point of crisis for a failure after which I have no opportunity to not fail. Or if there is, I give up long before I get there. There is definitely a point in the continuum at which stopping my failure goes from merely difficult to herculean. All the points are critical--it's just that some are more difficult than others to reverse. Regardless of the degree of difficulty to turn from the progression of failure, at every single millimeter of the slippery path to "epic fail" my responsibility and culpability remain, and I know it. The "always provides a means of escape" promise doesn't comfort me in retrospect; it kills me, throws the truck in reverse and runs over me again just for good measure. It means there was a way out, and I watched it pass by.

So, on those days when I'm less-than-great (i.e. most days), I sit in the misery of "epic fail" paralyzed by my own weakness and the soulful remnants of the actions (condemnation). There's nothing I can say or do to reverse the damage. It all makes me want to take out the giant "FAIL" stamp and call it a day. I might as well just veg out on TV. Tomorrow will be a better day. Tomorrow I'll walk with God like Enoch did. Yeah. That's it. I'll start keeping track of my righteousness again tomorrow. I'll reboot. Over 95% of all problems are solved with a reboot (just ask any IT guy); so, I'll reboot and be fine tomorrow. I'll be faithful in devotion tomorrow. I'll be passionate for ministry tomorrow. I'll apply the gospel tomorrow. yadda yadda

The problem with that sentiment is that it means a) I'm counting on my own righteousness/strength (doomed), and b) most of my life would be spent in FAIL (poorly-executed doom). It doesn't take me long to crowbar a perfectly good day; so, if I wait until the next morning to reboot, most of today and by extension most of my life will have been spent having a "bad day". Lifehacker recently ran an article about the science of having a bad day. Some of it is probably off-base, but they made some good points about "bad days" which I distill below:
  1. label the "badness" rather than obsess about it
  2. reevaluate the outcome
  3. remember that past failure does not indicate future success
  4. get on with it
What it reminded me of was to not wait to reboot crappy days. Maybe you failed miserably. Big deal. Reboot NOW. This applies to days that aren't productive/creative/energetic. This applies to days that don't feel sanctified/devoted. Feelings lie. Label it all sin, confess it, look for God to be glorified in it while disciplining you, and move on. Every time inappropriate images surface, slap "SIN" on it and shove it back under the blood of Christ. Every time the echoes of anger or frustration reverberate, slap "SIN" on it and shove it back under the blood of Christ. Every time doubt whispers that you won't make it, slap "SIN" on it and shove it back under the blood of Christ. Reboot now and expect Him to make you what He's destined you to be. Our perfect record as Christians is only because of Christ's perfect life and His righteousness; so, starting today over right now is really no different than how this day started or how tomorrow will start. "Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden" must be right now. He doesn't need a breather after your failure. Devotion starts now. Sanctification starts now. Belief starts now.

reboot now

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