I would suppose that most of us live with some contradictions in our lives. The memes that say things like I want a hot body but I also want tacos pretty much nail this on the head. We want to look good but the idea of limiting the amount of our favorite foods (to a normal serving size) is just so unpleasant and so we live in the space defined by, "I could do it if I really set my mind to it, but honestly, I'm okay where I'm at." And let's be honest, behind that statement is always a fear of failure. It's much easier to say we could if we really wanted to rather than actually go for it and fall flat on our face.
This isn't a new concept. Solomon was very wise when he said that there was nothing new under the sun. Delivery and appearance might have changed over the years, but the basics of human nature are still pretty much fully intact.
This morning I found a tiny little blurb tucked neatly inside Joshua 17 that illustrates this perfectly. As the promised land is being distributed to the Israelites, Josheph's descendents go to Joshua with this, "Why did you give us only one tribal allotment as an inheritance? We have many people because the LORD has been blessing us greatly." (17:14 CSB) Call me crazy, but for the descendents of the guy who told everyone his dreams, this doesn't seem like much of a stretch for them to proclaim about themselves.
However, when Joshua tells them how to increase their inheritance (i.e. where/how they can get more land) their response is rather enlightening. "The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who inhabit the valley have iron chariots...." (17:16 CSB) In essence, what they were offered wasn't enough and oh, by the way, even though we are blessed, we can't possibly overtake the ones who are already there.
But Joshua, in his amazing leadership skills is having no part of their lack of faith and tells them, "You have many people and great strength.....You can also drive out the Canaanites, even though they have iron chariots and are strong." (17:17,18 CSB ~ emphasis mine)
As I look over the course of my life, I can't help but notice all the times I let what I saw with my eyes, or the fear I felt stop me even though I knew I was capable of doing something. My guess is I'm not alone.
I don't know why this is, but we have the capacity to see our gifts and blessings while still doubting our abilities. Abilities that God has clearly given us but we hold up and examine them through our eyes instead of His. We see all the places where improvement is needed where He sees all the places His strength will come through and permeate our weakness.
The fact is the Lord is willing to give, but acceptance still requires action on our part, whether that means picking something up or holding out our hands to receive it. And yes, sometimes the hardest part of what we are called to do in order to get what God wants to give us is facing something we'd rather avoid. But if avoidance is the course we choose, we are putting a lot more than gifts and blessings on the altar of sacrifice, we are putting His glory on it, too.
Every day we get to make choices that basically amount to the difference between a hot body or tacos. We can open our Bibles and let God speak to us *or* we can hit the snooze alarm and forgo reminding ourselves who God says we are. We can seek God in prayer and ask Him for help *or* we can try to muscle our way through and end up exhausted and defeated. And we can get the tools to clear the trees and drive out the enemies *or* we can stare at iron chariots expecting someone to give us an alternate piece of land.
And here's the thing: some days we will choose better than others. My hope is that we will begin to see that every choice really does matter, especially over time. As our options for today lay wide open before us, let's look at each one as the difference between a taco or a hot body. Maybe a little humor will help us make wiser choices all the way around.