Monday, July 27, 2009

A House Divided

I spend about an hour every day driving back and forth from home to work (two round trips × 15 minutes per leg = 60 minutes). I try to make the most of this reasonably quiet time. I may have a book with me that I read when stuck in traffic or waiting at a stop light. I might plan out my work schedule or think about what chores at home need to be completed. I also often find my driving time quite useful for some alone time to pray and be with God and talk to him about what's on my mind. This all sounds reasonably commendable. However, driving into work today, I found my mind and my heart were embroiled in an important conflict. The issue at hand comes straight from scripture in Matthew 12:25:

"Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand". (Popularized by Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 as "A house divided against itself cannot stand.")

While I was having some alone time with God and thinking about some bible verses that I had been given to consider by a friend of mine, I came across a motorist who couldn't decide which way they wanted to go and ended up blocking three lanes of traffic. Without disengaging my mind from my silent dialog with the most high God, my mouth blurted out "What a selfish idiot.". Immediately I was filled with disgusted amazement about how God could have my mind while the devil controlled my tongue. I am continually amazed about how much effort it takes for me to be courteous and mindful of others and how my negative and selfish nature always seems to be in control, even when I don't realize it. What's even more relevant for me is that the verses that I was given to read from my friend were from Romans chapters 7 and 8. For those not familiar with these chapters, they have to do with our sinful nature (among other things). Romans 7:15 says "What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate.". Romans 7:17 says "So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.". Kind of interesting how when I focus on a particular set of bible verses that I immediately stumble upon practical relevance in my own daily existence.