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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Thoughts on Integrity

I admit, I'm in roach mode, so you'll have to forgive me if I sound a bit angry. But I was thinking about integrity today, and one of the things that really hit me was the question of payoff.

See, I have this discussion with a few of my friends, who are dealing with integrity issues. You know the situation. You are existing in the same realm, situation, whatever as someone else who is behaving without integrity. Doing everything they can to put themselves first, not worrying about who they step on in the process. It is so hard, because you're doing everything you can to behave with integrity, and to do it right, and you feel like you're light years behind.

I keep telling them (and myself) that eventually, it'll pay off. Somehow, they'll learn their lesson. My one friend keeps arguing with me, saying that in the case of the person she's dealing with, it'll never happen. She doesn't think that this person will ever realize how badly she's acting or even care. So I keep telling her that God will deal with that person and to just let God handle it.

But what if that doesn't happen in this lifetime? What about all the people who live their lives of sin and debauchery and God knows what else and still manage to achieve a level of success and even think they're happy? They are rewarded for their sin! How fair is that?

However, I've yet to find that verse in the Bible that promises our lives will be fair. Maybe some of those stinky roaches will, in fact, prosper. But see, there is another age to come. One where the Lord rules, and He will stand over us with His justice prevailing. Will we be separated from the roaches? I don't know. I used to say with confidence that YES! Jesus will stomp their nasty little exoskeletons with his bare feet and say, "I don't know you! Get lost!" Except, as I've been finding in this journey of figuring out just who *I* am in Christ, I have to wonder just how much roach blood is in me. And I guess, selfish roach that I am, I'd like to think that there's still room in heaven for the slightly roachy-like me.

But what constitutes too big of a roach for heaven, and good enough to get in? Amos 5:4, which has what I've decided is the best summary of the Bible in one verse, says, "Seek Me and live." Four words. They get to the heart of what it really means to be living in Christ.

It's not, "seek the destruction of the roaches." Nor is it "seek what's good and makes Danica happy" (Although wouldn't that be the coolest thing ever?) It's seek ME, as in GOD. As in Christ.

My beloved Joyce talked about something tonight,and I have to admit, I wasn't paying much attention. I was being a roach and yelling obscenities at the computer because of the roaches that were irritating me tonight. However, I did jot down a few notes, because it does make me feel all good and churchy and holy and stuff. As I started writing this blog, I glanced at my notes, and I had written this: "Deut 30:19? blessings and curses-choose life." Well, this intrigued me, because I was at that point threatening to kill people and I think yelling at the computer about what crackheads they were (I wish I were kidding. I always give you honesty, because I never want anyone to think I'm perfect or that I think I'm perfect).

Read with me: Deuteronomy 30:19 "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."

If you read the whole chapter, in fact I recommend reading the whole book, because it's so good! (I love Deuteronomy. Maybe when I'm done with Hosea, I'll study it in depth. I am SUCH a nerd). Anyway, the theme of this chapter... it's seek Me and live. Follow God and you will live.

Which is interesting, because in my opinion, the whole of Deuteronomy is about this one verse: 6:5 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give today are to be upon your hearts." According to Jesus, it's the greatest commandment of all. Seek Him and you will live. But not just seek Him-seek Him with everything you are.

The trouble with worrying about integrity and roaches is that ultimately, it doesn't matter what they do or don't do. It doesn't matter how God deals with them. Yes, it is irritating to watch roaches win the rat race. But there is a much bigger prize out there-eternity in paradise. If we spend all of our time watching and worrying about the roaches, all of our focus isn't on God.

Philippians 3:13-14 say "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." That's our prize in running the race-being able to hang out up in heaven with Jesus and have a good ole time. Personally, I'm hoping for a little Q&A Session. Well, okay, a really big one. I have a list. ;)

The thing is, if we don't keep his focus on Him, we aren't going to get there. That's what all these verses have been saying. And if any of you have ever tried driving while looking at something other than the road, you'll know what a disasterous situation it can be. When we look at the roaches, we're driving ourselves off the highway to the promised land, and into the ditch of roachland. Maybe the ditch has some pretty flowers in it, especially if the highway is all barren desert. But what's the destination look like? I don't care how many pretty flowers are on the way, if God's not there in the end, what does it matter?

And so, to the friends who are frustrated by the roaches, I say this: (GET ONLINE AND READ MY BLOG SO I DON'T HAVE TO CALL YOU... yeah, like they'll ever see this.) Okay, seriously now... The roaches may never have their comeuppance. They may never realize that they're roaches. And they might always achieve more success than you. But don't be a roach. Keep following God's path. Maybe you won't taste the same sweetness on the journey, but the end will be sweeter than you can ever imagine.

(P.S. My apologies to the crackhead psychopathic moronic idiot roaches I screamed at while working/reading email/checking blogs/chatting/watching TV/thinking/and doing whatever else I do sitting at my computer. The good news is, you don't know who you are. But I take back all the mean, negative things I sent your way and I pray that God will bless you despite all the curses I screamed over your heads. I also pray that you will stop being roaches. Of course, you don't read my blog either. So none of this matters except to remind myself that I shouldn't be such a roach.)


Camy Tang said...

Funny, I was just reading Job about how life isn't always fair. This was very appropos.

Jana said...

Many kuddos!

Gosh, I've missed you!

Danica/Dream said...

Camy, glad it fit-God's cool that way.

Thanks Jana! I've missed you too!

Heather Rae Scott said...

I so needed that. Next time, please say, GO directly to my blog, do not pass go, do not collect your $200. K?

Danica/Dream said...

I get $200? Sweet!