Learning to Etch A Sketch

"Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” Luke 11:28

Do you remember the Etch A Sketch?

My brother, sister and I had one.  We loved it, though I think I spent more time shaking it to erase my mistakes than drawing any great pictures.  

Once, on a long summer car ride, I remember watching my brother, Jimmy, with the Etch A Sketch.  He was the master, twisting and turning the nobs in careful fury to create a skyscraper.  I was in awe.  Then, he passed it to my sister, Nancy, who just as easily drew a perfect furry dog.  It looked so amazing to me.

Then, she passed the Etch A Sketch to me saying, "Here, you try, Pris."

I thought for a while about what I wanted to make and decided I wanted to draw a fluffy dog, too.  As I clumsily began to turn the nobs, I realized it was much harder than it appeared while watching my older brother and sister's every move.  

First, I drew a zigzag line up.  Then, a squiggle.  My sister saw me struggling and tried to help.  She suggested that I try writing my name.  I shook the Etch A Sketch more times than I can count to erase it and start over before finally drawing something that only I could recognize as my name.  I displayed it proudly to my sister and she smiled, "Good job, Sis!" she said, and I beamed.

Thinking back about that Etch A Sketch, I find it to be so much like our Christian life.  We often spend time thinking about what we want our life to look like?  But, we should really be asking God what He wants our life to look like, what He wants to create in us.  

Like the Etch A Sketch, we must practice the Christian life to get better at it.  When we start out, we can often be clumsy about things, not really understanding what God requires or expects.  We tend to shake, erase, and start over a lot.  And hopefully, we have a big brother or sister to come alongside us to guide, teach, and encourage us as God begins to sanctify us by His Holy Spirit.  

I still ask God to shake and erase more than I'd like to, but I'm grateful for the love and mercy He shows as He teaches me His way.

Aren't you?

"Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you."  Psalm 86:11

Goodnight, Runners.

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