Wouldn't it be nice if people came with dashboard lights? First thing in the morning, my "low coffee level" indicator button would no doubt light up. By noon another light would probably flash telling me I'm about a quart low.
My best definition of coffee: hot consciousness with cream and sugar. And I've noticed there are hardly any mornings when consciousness doesn't come in really handy.
I've also noticed that my poor husband misses his on Sundays. His consciousness, that is. There are several things people don't tell you about being a pastor's wife. I can't believe, for instance, that no one ever told me about PTSS. That's how we refer to it around my house anyway. It's "post-traumatic sermon syndrome" and it hits every Sunday soon after my husband finishes preaching the last of our three Sunday morning services. He sort of glazes over. There's no indicator light but the whole family knows it. And I know what you're thinking, but there's simply not enough coffee. Not even espresso has the power to unglaze at that point.
PTSS sounds a little tragic. So I'm not sure how to say this without seeming like a terrible person, but our family has always enjoyed observing the glaze. We're a little twisted that way. It's just that it's often been one of our family's most entertaining times of the week. Richie is adorably hilarious when he's about a quart low on consciousness.
After three sermons, I've seen my husband go through the drive-through at McDonalds and try to order our lunch by speaking to the trash can. I've seen him leave his car running in the parking lot of a restaurant. I've heard him misspell his own name. This week? Okay, this was a good one. Richie was trying to guess who my son was texting. For some reason, he was going to ask him if it was "animal, vegetable, or mineral." That was funny all by itself. But it was even better when it instead came out, "Is it rock, paper, or gas?"
Wait. Now what is it we're made of?
I guess it's a good reminder that we need to stay alert and give some extra thought to what we're made of. When trouble hits, do we let our faith crumble like paper? Do we see it evaporate away like gas? Or are we rock solid? A rock solid faith is one that stays firmly anchored to Jesus, trusting Him and the truth of what He says in His Word.
David wrote, "Guide me in Your truth and faithfulness and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You [You only and altogether] do I wait expectantly all the day long. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and steadfast love, even truth and faithfulness are they for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies" (Psalm 25: 5, 10 AMP).
We're guided into His truth as we allow His Word to fill our minds and influence the way we live. There is such blessing in filling our lives with His truth. As we see ourselves awakening increasingly to His Word, and as we meditate on it more and more, we understand more about Him. We understand that He not only speaks truth, but that He indeed is truth. We see that He is a heavenly Father who always keeps His promises. We see our relationship with Him becoming sweeter and closer because we understand on a deeper level how utterly and completely we can trust Him. Worries suddenly seem a little silly. Difficulties look smaller. He chooses to reveal Himself to those who seek Him, who seek His guidance and His truth, those who desire to obey. The paths of those who seek Him are "mercy and steadfast love, even truth and faithfulness."
A life steeped in His truth is one of power. People who are alert to His truth learn to make choices that are guided by His principles. They're much less vulnerable to lies.
Paul talks about divisive, trouble-making people in Romans 16:18. These were people with the goal of leading others to believe lies. Talk about some bad choices. "For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naïve people." In verse 19, Paul says, "But I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil."
We stay alert to truth by not being persuaded by evil, by not swallowing lies. And we can only recognize lies as we immerse ourselves in what is true. God's Word will make us wise about what is good and will help us recognize evil. It's God's Holy Spirit who will give us the strength we need to steer clear of that evil and to stay on track in the truth.
Could I encourage you to invest time and energy into building the truth of God into your life? Not a single one of us ever gets so "spiritual" that we don't need a reminder to go all in. And we each need the reminder as well that at the very moment we pick up His Word, there are likely a thousand distractions clamoring for our attention. Many of them seem so urgent. But I can guarantee you that not one of them is more urgent than what the Father can offer us in His truth. He offers us a well-grounded, rock solid faith. And that beats any of those distractions.
And just for the record, no matter how heavy the glaze, no doubt it beats paper and gas too.
Rhonda Rhea is a pastor's wife, mom, speaker, radio personality, and author and is a regular contributor to the Missouri Baptist Pathway. She and her husband serve at First Baptist Church, Troy, Missouri.