May 23, 2013

Everything Escalated From There

In the Twin Cities, there is a classic television station that shows all of the old shows that I loved to watch as a child back in the sixties. The format presents a wide variety of the iconic series, stars and genres that have defined pop culture and television for decades. Shows like “Leave it to Beaver”, “My Three Sons”, “Adam-12”, “The Odd Couple”, and “Dragnet”, and the list goes on…

One of the shows, “I Love Lucy” showed Lucy and her friend Ethel working on an assembly line. Do you know the one that I am referring to? Lucy is working on an assembly line wrapping candy.
They start off with the assembly line running slow and are quite impressed with their ability to keep up. But, when the lines starts running faster and the candy comes out quicker and they can no longer keep up with wrapping the candy, panic sets in and everything escalates from there.
The two of them try to mask the fact that they are way over their heads by doing things like eating the candies, hiding them in their hats, and dropping them down their dresses; anything to hide them from their overbearing boss. And, no matter what they do, it continues to escalate as they hope that no one knows that they are unable to keep up and handle what they were given to do.

We, the viewers, watch the show as we laugh and ask; “Why don’t they just stop and admit that they can’t handle it. Why don’t they shut off the conveyer belt? Why don’t they ask for help?” We ask this because if we were them we would’ve done something different. Or would we?

So how does it work for you? Are you a person who, when you get out of the rhythm and life and you can’t keep up, do you stop and admit that you can’t handle it? Do you ask for help? Or do you keep going hoping that no one knows that you are unable to keep up and handle what you are trying to do?

At first you, like Lucy and Ethel, perhaps can handle the tasks and so it doesn’t faze you that things could ever get to the point where you might need help. After all, someone might think that you are incompetent and get someone else in to replace you.

So, rather than stopping, you work harder trying to keep up. And then everything escalates from there.

If this is the condition of your life today; may I make a suggestion? “STOP” In the Bible we read the Lord calling out to each of us who are in this condition;

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” (Psalm 46:10 MSG)

Listen to Jesus calling out to you as the conveyer belt speeds up in your life:

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)

My friend, living in a life of stress and panic and things out of control is not how God wants us to live.  And you don’t need to; you really can stop. And you don’t need to wait until everything has escalated.

God cares for you more than you will ever know. It is often in our problems that we see who God really is; a loving, caring Father who longs to help us.

Call 1-888-NEED HIM. Someone is waiting to talk with you

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


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