The following story is based off of a true story with a few of the names changed. I’m re-posting this after about six years, because I think it’s a cool story, and I have some new thoughts.
My friend Eric used to spend a lot of time with a couple and their children from his church family. They ate together multiple times a week, and generally just lived life together. One time, while the couple was cleaning up after dinner, Marcus, the couples’ oldest child brought out a new lego set to show his “Uncle Eric”.
Eric tried to get Marcus to help him build the Lego set but Marcus was too excited and Eric ended up building most of it. As soon as they had finished, Marcus grabbed it and began playing with it, breaking off some of the propellers. Eric took a moment to share with Marcus how to fix them if it ever happened again, and Marcus practiced just to be sure.
Marcus after successfully fixing the Helicopter looked at the Helicopter, then at Eric, then back at the Helicopter, then back at Eric, stood up, and triumphantly exclaimed before running out of the room at full speed:
I can do it by myself! I don’t need you! I don’t need ANYONE!!!Marcus’s declaration
After a few minutes, Eric heard a crash and Marcus sheepishly came back with the helicopter shattered in such a way that they had to completely rebuild it from scratch. Marcus put all the pieces in a pile, and lamented:
Uncle Eric, I need your help.Marcus’s reality
When my friend originally told me this story over eight years ago, he said that this occurrence really stuck out to him, because it’s the way we are with God.
In this situation, Eric is God and Marcus is us. God helps us through things. He teaches us things. As soon as we think we know how to deal with it, we turn to God and tell him, “I don’t need you, I don’t need anyone!”
If you’re like me, you don’t like having to depend on people, in part because you don’t like the idea of people having to go out of their way for you on your behalf. I like to learn how to do something, and then do things myself. It’s part of my work ethic. It’s something I’m proud of, because it means I’ve applied myself, understand the material and am on my way to mastering it.
The problem is, due to the nature of humanity, we can never begin to master Christianity or even the nature of being human. We can’t just take one thing we’ve learned and apply it to every situation. With one of my friends, I know I need to continually remind him of our plans, with another one, I know I need to make sure his wife is aware and signs off. I’ve tried to continually remind my married friend to no avail.
Now sin on the other hand.
That’s a tricky thing to figure out.
That’s because we have an active participant in our sin. While the temptations aren’t necessarily new, the way the Devil and his demons work to tempt us does change. We can’t just have one line of defense. But I think that’s another blog topic.
For now, remember Marcus. Remember that we will never have everything all together, and in those moments where everything seems to be going right is when we often realize we need Jesus more than anything.