Thursday, August 12, 2010

This bright golden sign is plastered all over Oberursel, the German village where I live:

The reason for all the Umleitungs, which is German for detour, is a total make-over of the main street of our town. Oberursel has been selected as the "City of the Day 2011" for our province, and next summer over 1 million people will converge on this 40,000 resident city to celebrate German-style.

So for the last year they have been working on this one main street, repaving, adding bike lanes and new light fixtures, and sprucing up the medians with flowers and trees. Needless to say, it's lovely now and will be awesome once it's completely finished.

But as I drove down the overcrowded, patchy, and bumpy street towards my house, I couldn't help but wonder why they didn't take the money and fix more than just ONE street. I know they wanted to fix the street that everyone would see the most, the one that would be most traveled on, but what about everything else?

If you stop to think about it, aren't we the same way with our own lives? When we want to work on those "problem areas" of our lives and hearts, we tend to choose the ones that are the most obvious to others, the ones that will garner the most attention after they're corrected and the least painful to repair. But what about the side streets and alleyways of our heart? Why do we leave them unattended? They may not be the parts of our lives that everyone sees, but they are equally, if not more, important than we realize.

I think we have the most difficulty with these parts of our hearts because: 1) we don't see them as problematic, and thus, we don't think they need correcting, or 2) we don't want to make the effort because it will probably include some pain, some trust, and some willingness to let go - all of which scares us!

The problem is God doesn't want to leave us partly resurfaced, He wants to fully restore us so that we can live the lives Jesus died for us to have (John 10:10). That means completely opening ourselves to Him and allowing Him and trusting Him to work on and in us as only He can.

I know firsthand how hard it is to allow God into the inmost places of our hearts and lives that need work. There are still some areas that I have placed a No Trespassing sign; areas that I'm not ready to rip open and freely hand over. But I know I need to. I know I have to. Because until I do, I won't be fully free.

Is there something in your heart or life that you've kept from God? A back road that runs deep within that you've kept from Him, hoping that it would fix itself or never require repairs? It's an ideal dream, but one that will never come to pass. Either we allow God to deal with it and move forward, or we let it sit, untouched, and stay stuck in our lives.

We can easily impress the world with our surface level repairs and seem as though we have it all together, packaged neatly with a bow on top. Or we can let go and let God do a work in us that will allow us to have the rich, meaningful life that can be ours in Christ.

The choice is ours.