The lazy Saturday morning began blissfully. She had a simple breakfast and a cartoon while we took our time making our way down to begin the day.
As the stairs creaked with our footsteps, she shot a sheepish smile our way and quickly ran to her room. Through groggy eyes, it didn’t take us long to see why she was so quick to run. The truth sat glaring in the form of brown clumps through the kitchen and bathroom. My first thought was, “Is that chocolate or poop?” There was only one thing I knew for sure, it was a mess she attempted to hide.
Whatever it was, we ran as fast as we could to grab the sanitizer and Bounty. Putting the pieces of the morning together, my better half instinctively walked over to flip open the trashcan lid. Next, his rushing words recounted his decision to throw away the remains of a large chocolate cake into that very trashcan just the night before. Now it was gone. There was no doubt, our precious daughter indulged herself on old cake from a trashcan.
I felt myself mixed with pride for her boldness and frustration for her self-reliant impulses. Impatiently, (and ever so logically) I asked her why she didn’t just ASK me for cake? I would have given her something much better than the dumpster diving early morning special she devoured.
Later that day, after giving her a bath, a plate of vegetables and a good nap; I realized something. Am I all that different than this? How many times in my life have I gone looking for cake from a trashcan?
- I dig myself into believing my performance is my only worth
- I dig into the lie that perfection equals beauty and I will never measure up
- I dig my heels towards the rearview mirror of life where old habits and beliefs reside
- I dig in the direction of a dangerous relationship seeking temporary comfort
- I dig up dirt to just to bury the truth I want to avoid
- I comprise God’s best in my life
In searching for satisfaction, while also distracting myself from the shame that will inevitably follow, my desire takes precedence over the truth. I convince myself of there being no better option than to take matters into my own hands.
Matthew 7:6 says:
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
In my opinion, what follows in Matthew 7: 7-8, is vital to the realization of an alternative filled with hope:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
This is truth piercing straight to the core of my independent heart. The abandonment of the self reliant digging can take place after the vulnerable first step of the ask for help. I can let God do His job.
Again and again this is proven. Solomon asked for wisdom. David asked for forgiveness. The man with leprosy asked to be healed. Each person went to the source to start the vulnerable conversation. Simply put, my Father wants good things for me. Yet, I often forget to share my needs with Him, as if I know a better or easier way. All too often, I end up running away with a sheepish smile and a trail of mess left behind.
Here is the thing about God; no matter how far down we go digging, He is there. There is nothing He can’t or won’t redeem.
If you are ever tempted to eat cake from a trashcan, you don’t have to dig that deep. It may taste good for a minute, but you’re better than the mess it leaves behind. We all have our moments of dumpster diving. Nobody’s perfect. If you ever find yourself left with cake under your fingernails and smeared across your face, it’s going to be okay. God is right there. He already has a big bottle of sanitizer and a roll of Bounty with your name on it.