It’s no secret that I adore my nephew Lawson. He is this chunky, adorable 3 year old kid that just melts your heart, not to mention being the biggest ham you’ll ever meet. He doesn’t know it yet but he’s a natural performer and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see him go into music or theater. He also has a natural heart for service, even at 3 years old. It doesn’t matter what needs to be done, he wants to jump in there and help out.
On my most recent trip to visit with Lawson and his older brother Korban (their parents, my sister and brother-in-law, may have been there, I just remember Korban and Lawson), I had my bike mounted on the back of my car. Both being avid “cyclists”, Lawson and Korban were ecstatic that “Uncle Trey brought his bike”. What they didn’t realize was that it was just a vintage Peugeot bike frame I’d recently purchased with the intent of restoring it over time. There were many issues with the bike and it simply wasn’t ready to ridden.
As I explained what was wrong with the bike, Korban didn’t really understand the details but he did understand that the bike was broken and would be for a while. Lawson understood the bike was broken but had no problem offering to “fiz it”. You see, Lawson has a toy tool kit attached to his bicycle and he just knew that he could use it to repair my bike too. I tried explaining that he wouldn’t be able to; that I needed to do it and it would take me some time to find all the parts, but that wasn’t good enough for Lawson…he grabbed his tools and went to work “fizzing” my bike. After about 8 seconds, during which he took what resembled a wrench and ran it along the chain, he proudly proclaimed my bike “fizzed”.
How often is it that we try to fix things ourselves? Even further, how often do we try to fix ourselves? As I watched Lawson try to fix my bike despite my explanation that it wouldn’t work, I found myself dwelling on times I have that same mentality with God. “It’s okay God, I got this” has become a standard proclamation in society. There’s this idea that we are immortal, that we are invincible, that we are capable of having everything under control at any given time…what’s worse is the stigma within our society that says if you can’t be like that then you’re not trying hard enough.
Andrew Osenga poignantly sums up this mentality in his song “Firstborn Son”:
God, help the man who helps himself, he needs no other devil.
It’s easy for us to recognize all the tangible things we allow to interfere in our relationship with God but oh how hard it is to see the ways we interfere in our own relationship with Him. Our own pride, our desire to help ourselves, becomes our “devil”, our distraction from recognizing the extreme need we have for God. Why did we become so prideful and set ourselves in such a lofty position that we think we can ever possibly take better care of ourselves than He who created us. We follow in the steps of Lucifer and Adam without even realizing it, as we attempt to maintain control of our own situation.
We must come to a place where we realize that we are incapable of fixing ourselves. We must also come to a place where we realize that, as with any other struggle we encounter as broken human beings, it’s an ongoing process of remembering we are incapable of fixing ourselves. I stayed with Korban and Lawson for a week and it became a daily conversation where I had to remind Lawson that my bike was still not fixed and that his tools still wouldn’t work. It was always a short conversation and after I explained everything to him, he understood and let go of the matter.
That’s how we need to approach those moments with God. It’s okay that we need to be reminded but once we get the reminder, we should let go of the matter. Dwell on Ephesians 3:14-21 and stop getting in the way of the God who loves you and can “fiz” you better than you could ever possibly “fiz” yourself.