I just received the funniest series of texts from my daughter, Ashley. It appears that my youngest granddaughter, Lucy, has entered the “I can do it myself” phase of life. Understand, Lucy is 20 months old and is so very sweet, but apparently, she decided that she could dress herself this morning. After seven pairs of shorts/skirts, she landed on a skirt that did not have built-in bloomers. After a great deal of frustration that included tears, she pulled the skirt on – all the way up to her chest – and decided that she didn’t need a shirt. Lucy has always been a bit of an exhibitionist, but we haven’t been worried at this point because of her age. Don’t misunderstand, she had all the necessary parts covered, but….
Now, my point in sharing this funny story is not to only talk about my granddaughter. By the way, I have another granddaughter, Hayes. She will be six this December and is a very unique little girl. Like Lucy, she is very sweet but can sometimes be a little headstrong – like her m_____. I will let you fill in the blank. But I digress. As I was saying, I am not writing this only to talk about my granddaughters though I could spend hours telling you stories about how smart, sweet, and beautiful they are.
My point is this. We are all very much like Lucy. I fear that we sometimes never grow out of the “I can do it myself” phase of life. That’s not a bad thing. When it comes to eating, personal grooming habits, and many other very necessary activities, we must do it ourselves. The problem is when we become so independent that we refuse all help and insist on going it alone. You see it in so many professionals who “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps” and refuse to be a part of the team. You see it in some athletes who never quite understand that it isn’t all about them. And you see it in many religious people as well.
Consider them all: Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hindu, Christianity. In every one of these “religious systems” there is an element of “doing it ourselves.” I have to be good enough. I must perform more good deeds than bad. I have to follow all of the rules. Sadly, for many, this becomes about doing it yourself so that you might receive whatever reward your particular belief offers. Working your way to the next level. Earning your spot. Doing the best with what you’ve got. Guess what! Your best ain’t good enough. Pardon the poor grammar, but I want you to understand my point. There is no way on God’s green earth that you can reach Nirvana, Heaven, or whatever other version of the afterlife you believe in based on your good deeds simply because this is God’s green earth. He created it all, and He made the rules. Rule number 1: there is no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved. What is that name? Jesus.
You can do all the good that you can do. You can follow all the rules that you can follow. But if you miss this one rule that no man comes to the Father (God) except through Jesus Christ, all is lost. You see, Jesus did the good works. Jesus followed all the rules. He did this so that He could give Himself as the perfect sacrifice paying the penalty for our sin and purchasing our reward. He did it all Himself, and the only thing that you have to do for yourself is accept the gift that He offers: eternal life in heaven and abundant life right now on Earth. That’s it. How do you do that? Talk to God. Tell Him that you receive His gift. Tell Him that you believe that Jesus did it all for you – died and rose again. And proclaim for all to hear that He is Lord of Heaven and Earth and Lord of your life.
Now, in case you were wondering, Lucy did remove the skirt. Now she is working on getting her swimsuit on – all by herself. But I have a feeling, Mommy will win the day!