Last time we were here, Monday was the sordid topic. This past Wednesday was apparently invaded by the Monday nemesis. It has been said and oft quoted, "Don't cry over spilt milk." The same can be said for spilt paint.
I was revisiting a jobsite from a week of mission work in our area. I intended to finish some painting and was mid project when I switched from red to white paint. The work had been going smoothly. I tidied up the red paint can, brush, and paint holder and set about to shake the white gallon of paint. Eventually I would pop the lid and stir it well. I should mention the gallon of white paint had been previously opened, used, and the lid put back in place but not secured (unbeknownst to me).
Feeling good about the project so far, I shook the can vigorously and proceeded to turn it upside down and shake it some more. It was at this deft flip of the can that I felt wet on my hands, then my arms, and eventually my right leg. White paint was gushing from the dislodged lid and was on the driveway, the tailgate of my truck and me. I uttered something unintelligible and quickly righted the can onto the tailgate that was now a makeshift paint tray with a half gallon of exterior white paint on it. Not to be outdone, I began to dip my brush into the tailgate recesses and place paint into my paint cup (Can't let spilt paint go to waste).
The thought crossed my mind to berate the previous user of the gallon can and let them know they had messed up 'royally', then a moment of clarity emerged and all I could do was smile and laugh about the whole ordeal. In a world that is inundated with anger, bitterness, hate, and retribution, my predicament was a bit of a comedy of errors that would eventually pass. "Into every life a little rain must fall." and paint does make for a reasonable facsimile.
(Image from bing.com)
While I continued the cleanup on aisle 7, I mused the lesson that God was trying to get across to me here. Worrying about consequences of a mishap and the person responsible for said issue isn't productive. Wanting desperately to let the person know they didn't secure the lid would not clean the driveway, my truck bed, or me of the sticky latex semi-gloss. Then it dawned on me, that I make a 100 mistakes a day and if we are keeping score, then I would have to apologize at least that many times to someone for my own blunders. God seemed to be reminding me own my issues, to make amends, and move forward.
How often in a day's time will bad things occur and we get all puffed up ready to put someone in their place and let them have it? All the while, God gently taps us on the shoulder and says, "I have forgiven you through my grace, do the same."
The psalmist evidently knew the gift of God's grace and offered us insight into the heart of God and our responses. Our purpose on this earth is to serve the Lord and spewing anger, derision, hate, and bitterness is not in the job description....anywhere.
"Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If
you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that
we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my
hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the
morning." (Psalm 130:1-6, NIV)
Take some time to inspect your heart today and see if there may be a paint mishap in the near future to refine you and bring you closer to the God who created you, loves you, has redeemed you, and will forgive you of your sins.
"A Musing Pastor"