I was angry yesterday afternoon. Some problems stacked up over the week, stupid problems, relatively small problems. But as they built up I finally became angry and frustrated. So, as I often do when I’m angry and frustrated, I went for a walk with my Lord. I hiked up a trail that leads to a place called Hobart Bluff. It’s a beautiful viewpoint at a high elevation, more than 5,000 feet. So as I’m hiking and praying and listening to what our Father has to say, I’m getting a distinct and definite word from Him that goes like this:
Kurt, you really stink.
And He gets me to thinking about what these problems are, and the best way for me to deal with them, and he helps me to realize: I blew it. (Again.)
So it’s getting late, and the sun is going down, and I don’t really want to be out on the trail in the dark. But I’m almost to the place where you make a hard left and climb up to the top of Hobart Bluff, where you’re rewarded with this spectacular view. And I’m thinking, I can just make it to the top, snap a picture of the big view, and then get back to the car before dark. Then just before the hard left turn, I see on the trail, blocking my path, a black and white messenger from God. A skunk.
I laughed and said out loud, Really Father? Seriously? OK, I get it–I stink.
And I turned around and headed back to the car.
Paul, in the beginning of his ministry said, I’m the least of the apostles. In the middle he said, I’m the least of all the Christians. At the end he said, I’m the worst of all sinners. (1 Corinthians 15:9, Ephesians 3:8-9, 1 Timothy 1:15)
The closer you grow in your relationship with Christ, the greater your awareness of your own iniquity.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop,and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalm 51:5-11)
[Image via vladeb – Creative Commons]
Shortly after I encountered the skunk and headed back toward the car, I realized I wanted a picture of him (or her). But when I returned, the skunk was in the brush. I could hear him but couldn’t see him. For an instant I thought, Well, he’s gone now, I can go to the top and get my picture of the view. But then I thought it better to heed what appeared to be an obvious message from our Father. So I went back toward the car. I arrived there just in time before dark.