A few months ago, I was speaking with an Mt. Bethel family about an upcoming move. Their house had been on the market for many months with little activity but finally, a decent offer came through. They were clearly excited but they also seemed exhausted. When I mentioned this, the wife said, “I AM exhausted! I am so sick of keeping that house spotless! Every morning for months on end, I have lived in fear of leaving the house because an agent might show it while I’m out and find something out of place. Yes, I’ll miss our home but I am so glad this is over.” Perhaps you’ve been there, too?
Spring is a time of personnel changes in school, folks planning to go and others hoping to come on board. I see many resumes during this season and as I read through them, I’m often reminded of that house-selling story. Job applicants are a lot like a family that is trying to sell a home. They are in one place but they want to be somewhere else. To make that happen, they try to make repairs or hide flaws in hopes of showing only the best side of themselves. The applicant and home seller both live with the burden of needing to clean things up before they’re ready to be judged by the world, fearing that if they don’t, the results probably won’t be good.
I believe too many people treat their relationship with God like the process of applying for a job or selling a house. On one hand, we trust that God loves us and wants a relationship with us, but on the other, we don’t trust how He will react if He sees our flaws. The triple irony with that thinking is, a) He already knows our flaws so we aren’t hiding anything, b) we are powerless to clean ourselves up enough to merit God’s love, and c) He wants to meet us smack in the middle of our mess anyway. Even though He knows we are a mess, He says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” It almost seems too good to be true, but it is true.
The Apostle Paul spent a healthy portion of his evangelistic energy trying to convince both Jew and Gentile that being with God was not about rules and religion…it was about relationship. In his letter to the Romans, he said this, “God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” By sending His son, God has already cleaned up the typos in our spiritual resume. He has already mopped the floors of our messy house. We can stop trying to hide our faults or trying to be something we’re not. He is waiting to embrace us with arms open wide, just as we are. May we rest in that truth this week, amen.
Jim R. Callis
Head of School