Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sweatshirt Sermon #1

Several years ago I went on a girl’s trip to the beach for spring break.  While we were there it turned cold and, naturally, all I had with me were beach clothes…capris, bathing suit with a nice roomy cover-up to cover up all the bulges, a couple pair of sandals, etc.  I’m sure you’ve all probably figured out by now that I’m very cold natured (I told my  husband today that my gynecologist yesterday said it was imperative to my health that our thermostat be turned to 71° at all times in the winter but he didn’t believe me, can’t imagine why).  That meant a trip to the tourist traps to buy a sweatshirt.  Hey, don’t ever pass up a chance to buy a good sweatshirt! 

I found a great sweatshirt at the first store we went into.  It’s white, a pullover with a hood and a place to put your hands to keep them warm, and it’s long.  I bought a big size because I wanted lots of room.  In red letters across the front it says LIFEGUARD.  I thought it was hilarious because I don’t swim a lick.  :)  I’m terrified of water over my head.  I’ve taken swimming lessons 5 or 6 times…as an adult!  The last time I took them I actually jumped into the deep end of the pool, swam across (not very far), treaded water for 60 seconds, and swam back.  So technically I guess I know how to swim.  But the problem is that when in the water I panic and can’t remember that I know how to do the stroke that would get me to the side so I sink like a rock. 

If you think about it there’s a great lesson in that sweatshirt.  A Lifeguard on the beach is scanning an area filled with people.  He’s trying to see everyone but face it, if the beach is full, what are the chances that he will see someone who’s gone too far out and is in trouble?  The person in the water has got to do something to bring the Lifeguard’s attention to himself – wave his hands, yell, scream.  If he doesn’t ask for help he might not get any.

But aren’t we sometimes too stubborn to ask for help when we need it?  If you’re facing something hard in your life it helps to have lots of people praying but do you ask for prayer?  If you wake up to a flat tire the first morning of a new Bible study do you call a friend for a ride or just say, “oh well, maybe I’ll go next time.”  If you promised to bake 12 dozen cookies for tomorrow’s school party and you’re exhausted after work do you ask a friend to help?  If you’re struggling with a  moral issue do you go to a trusted Christian friend and confess what you’re thinking and ask for Godly wisdom? 

Asking for help is worse than getting a tooth pulled…for me.  And why is that?  It’s all about pride, and I don’t want to be prideful.  It’s all about arrogance, and I don’t want to be arrogant. 

Am I the only one who has trouble asking for help?


Lori said...

We are an awful lot alike. I just suck it up and deal with it. It's very hard for me ask for help wether it be from God, my family or a friend. My husband calls it the martyr syndrome. I blame it on being an independent, strong woman that takes care of herself. So, yes I do believe there is that evil thing called pride involved and for me it's not arrogance but a control issue. It's very hard to let go of things. I take them to God and then go grab them back!

Sandy said...

I love helping people and always say "now remember I am here if you need anything!" Of course most people are like you and me and I never hear anything. It is very difficult for me to ask for help also...maybe I will appear weak. I would never want to appear vulnerable. Yes, it is a sad part of my personality.

Adrienne said...

Oh, you and I have so much in common! My swimming skills sound much like yours - and I have such trouble asking for help! Is it pride? Or fear of bothering someone because we've had people take advantage of our help before? I don't know but it seems so strange to me.

Marge said...

I, too, have trouble asking for help. Like Lori said, we are strong, independent women, and if we ask for help we won't be independent anymore. We want to be in control of ourselves ... ...not controlling women....just in control of ourselves. It's the same with drinking. One glass of wine is enough for me as I don't ever want to not be in control. I don't think it's pride or arrogance. I think it's fear. Fear that we will loose control. Make sense to anyone?


Rose Mary said...

Same here. I try to work on this fault, as I love it when, occasionally, a friend calls and asks me to help them with something!

Jody Blue said...

Just relax lay back and you will pop to the top.
Oh so hard to ask for help.

Arkansas Patti said...

I used to but then I used to be able to care for myself better. I always told carry out boys in the super market," The day will come when I will need your help, today isn't one of them." Guess what, today I ask them and don't mind a bit.
If I can't do it myself, I don't hesitate asking for help,generally of someone I have previously helped. I know how good it makes me feel to help, so why deny some one else that pleasure?
I always assume if someone offers help, they mean it, I know I do.

kimbuktu said...

Thank you.

Love Bears All Things said...

I've had to do the same thing on numerous occasions when I didn't pack for an unexpected change in weather.

Mama Bear