23 Oct Why We Choose the Path of Least Resistance
The droplet of sap on my van’s windshield is smaller than a dime. It’s not huge, but it’s on the driver’s side, right in my line of vision. We just repainted our garage floor, and while it was drying, I had to park under the cedar trees at the end of the driveway. One of the days I parked there, a glob of sap dripped right onto the windshield.
I noticed it immediately when I got behind the wheel, but I couldn’t do anything right then to get rid of it. As usual, I was jumping in the car to run from one place to another, and I was in a hurry. Turning on the windshield wipers would only smear it, so I told myself I’d take care of it later.
And you can guess how that went.
That was weeks ago, and the glob is still there. Only now, it’s crystallized and feels like a permanent fixture on my mom-van.
The funny thing is that I’ve learned to look past the glob as I’m driving. It’s in the exact same spot it has been, and it never disappears fully from my line of vision, but I have learned to ignore it. I’ve learned to work around the obstruction.
And it seems like such a metaphor for my life.
Globs of mess fall into our lives, hitting us in places we can see. We notice them and tell ourselves we’ll do something about them, and we really do have good intentions. But life gets in the way. We rush around, trying to keep everything else going, and we push aside what can be pushed aside.
We learn to ignore the globs.
They’re not life-threatening, and they don’t demand our attention, but they’re not insignificant, either.
They obstruct our vision. And when we don’t make the time to deliberately remove them, they stay — and they crystallize. They become permanent fixtures blocking our vision.
I think for people following Jesus, small globs are more dangerous than we realize. We become pretty adept at recognizing outrageous sin, and we learn to anticipate the overt ways Satan attacks. But we forget that our enemy uses distraction as well as destruction, and we forget that the globs he throws at our windshields obstruct our vision just enough to make a difference.
I don’t want to be a glob-ignorer. I don’t want to procrastinate dealing with the easily removable sap and be forced to scrape it off after it’s crystallized. I don’t want to have my vision obstructed.
But I also don’t want to do difficult things.
Left to my own ways, I naturally choose the path of least-resistance. It’s really easy to ignore a glob and convince myself I’ll deal with it later. And later becomes never — or at the very least, much too late.
I’ve been learning more about the fruit of the spirit lately, and one of the fruits (are you singing the song in your head yet?) is self-control. Unless we are people under the influence of the Holy Spirit, we will not be people of people of self-control. And people of self-control are people who deal with globs of sap when they happen — because they can control the desire to put off what’s uncomfortable.
Procrastination is, at least for me, an indication that I’ve not surrendered fully to the Holy Spirit. Ignoring globs — whatever they are — shows me there’s more of me to give to God.
That’s walking with Jesus, isn’t it? Realizing there’s more selfishness and sin and brokenness to relinquish? The closer I get to Jesus, the more desperately I need Him.
Needing Him looks a lot like glob removal.
And I’m ready.