My son, like most teenage boys loves to play video games on his Xbox. Each time he grabs the controller, he goes through a transformation and becomes an experienced gamer . He saved birthday and Christmas money for about 3 years before he had enough to purchase a pre-owned Xbox from the local game store one Christmas season. As a father, that makes me proud, that he set a goal for himself and achieved it. On occasion he lets me play with him, which proves to my wife I’ve never grown up. If we play Madden football, I usually dominate, if its NBA 2K basketball, I play a cat and mouse game with him to make it close, but I usually beat him. Now when it comes to WWE 2K Wrestling, he absolutely destroys me! No mercy whatsoever and I spend the entire game trying to exude some offense to no avail. The insatiable look of delight on his face says it all, he wins well and takes no prisoners.
At times I fantasize about having cheat codes when I play, to look like a 43 year old Xbox Rockstar and show him moves he’s never seen. The problem with cheat codes are they are exactly that, cheating. They transform you into an experienced player, but are short lived at best and create a false sense of progress and growth. I began to think about how many times I feel like I’m in a bind in life, I just can’t win, and ponder what cheat code, what sequence of events, I could use to get over the hump. But even then, that would exist as only a temporary solution not a long term solution. Transformation occurs in the hands of the maker.
Handcrafted by the Master
I believe God uses these difficult times to chisel out our character, to make us better people. Michelangelo didn’t complete the statue of David in a day, it took 3 years. A truly transformed life is a process, a journey. Look at King David’s life. His life, like most of ours, is sprinkled with regrets, failures and shortcomings. One thing that remains constant is David’s repentant heart throughout his life. His willingness to seek God openly and transparently when he had fallen short. This is an action that moves toward long term solutions and long term growth. I love this translation of David’s prayer.
“Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. Don’t look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home. Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways. Unbutton my lips, dear God; I’ll let loose with your praise.” – Psalm 51:7–15 MSG
Transformation Through Praise
I’m not sure if you’re like me, but sometimes I do a good job of thinking about seeking God. Following through and actually doing it is altogether different. Its much like thinking about planting a garden and expecting to harvest fruit and vegetables from it. Embrace an opportunity to seek God this week and may your prayer include the following: “Unbutton my lips, dear God; I’ll let loose with your praise.”