Are You Stuck on Repeat?

Jen’s Gem: Team up with God for a perfect game.

Yesterday my son and I went bowling.  We were excited to go especially since it’d been a long time since either of us played. Clearly too long as I watched my debit card melt when the young man behind the counter told me the cost. Yeesh!

My son set up the computer to keep score and tossed the first ball down the lane. Well, more than tossed actually. Since he’s been working out, his arms are the size of tree trunks. I thought the ball would end up in the next town!My turn. I picked up the ball, got into my tried and true position, aimed for the middle pin, and… into the gutter. Yeah… not a good start.

“That’s ok. I just need to get warmed up,” was my thought. After several repeat performances of either gutter balls or only a handful of pins falling over, my son admonished me to change things up. “You’re twisting your wrist and the ball is going right. Move over to the left.” (He also asked if I wanted him to put up the bumpers. LOL!)

Well, turns out he was right. The problem? I made this change in like the 9th frame. Too little, too late as they say. As we wrapped up the game and I looked at my paltry score, I told my son that the last time I saw a score like that, I was using Clearasil. Then in his brilliance, he said something that made me stop in my tracks:

“You kept doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” 

Hmmm… me thinks I’ve heard this somewhere and I suspect you have too. It’s the definition of insanity. We see this practice in our everyday lives. We tap the elevator button 7,000 times yet the door still doesn’t close any faster. We click our mouse a million times, yet our laptops don’t boot up any quicker. Ahh – the human existence! 

This experience got me to thinking. Where else in my life is this occurring? Actually, the more important question is why. Why am I stuck on repeat like a scratched record album? Here’s what I figured out. 

First, I’m convinced that my way is the best way. So I just have to keep forcing (yikes!) it to happen. This is called pride.

Second, I’m used to doing what I’m doing and don’t want to try something new. (Eeeks!) This is called fear.

Pride. Fear. The Bible is very clear, in fact extremely clear on these two things. We know it was pride that got Lucifer thrown out of heaven when he tried to elevate himself above God. (Isaiah 14: 12-14 NKJV) The book of Proverbs also speaks of pride quite plainly:

“Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18 NKJV)

So yeah – pride is not a good thing. And in case you didn’t know it? God hates pride. It’s hard to think of God hating anything since we want to think of Him as all lovey-dovey, ooey-gooey (which He most certainly is!) but yeah – the pride thing – not so much.

The Bible also speaks a lot about fear. In fact, it’s mentioned 365 times. Hmmm… 365. That number sounds familiar. God knew that we’d face fearful situations every day, so in His brilliance and immense love for His kids, He gave us 365 Bible verses to clap back with when the spirit of fear tries to shake us.

Oh – and by the way, that spirit of fear? It’s not from God but from you know who.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18 NKJV)

Here’s the rub. God’s number one purpose for our lives is to make us more like Him. How do we do this?

1. We emulate His Son. God sent Jesus so we’d see exactly what we’re supposed to do.
2. He gave us His Word so we’d have practical ways to do this every day.
3. And – to put the icing on the cake, the cherry on top? He gave us His Holy Spirit so we’d have the power and strength to carry it out and live our lives in victory.

Now that’s worth repeating!

I didn’t have the best bowling game yesterday, but with God, His Word, and the Holy Spirit? Well, that’s a winning combination for a strike in every frame!

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