The ant from Proverbs 6 had defined the goal: Do WHAT needs doing WHEN it needs doing.
That part of my thinking had been clarified. I could see the target.
Nevertheless, often I did not draw an arrow and release. I could see the target – but I didn’t even reach for an arrow. Why not??
I did not because I did not want to.
In the very moment of decision when I made the choice to do or not do what needed doing, I chose to do what made me feel better in the immediate.
Sometimes I made a deliberate choice. Sometimes it was so quick I wasn’t aware of making a decision. In any case, I decided what to do based on what I wanted in the moment.
Self was ruling. Turning my head and heart to look away from what needed doing, I put my attention on what I preferred. I was serving Self.
I preferred waffles for breakfast to leaving on time. I preferred computer browsing to working on lesson plans. I preferred cleaning the cabinets to playing with the children. Self is clever and could draw me away with easy provocation.
I gave in because it felt good at the moment. Whether it was fear, pride, fatigue, perfectionism, or something else, there was always a way to rationalize and serve Self. In that brief moment of decision, I sought some kind of peace – freedom from pain, escape from the unpleasant – so I chose Self.
Self has not been faithful. There’s been no peace as a result of choosing not to do what needed doing when it needed doing. Just the opposite has been true.
By God’s grace I seek more often to move from Self to self. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30.
This week, let’s pray often, “Lord help me notice the moments when I choose self over what needs doing when it needs doing. Help me decrease.”