We have all had that embarrassing moment in life. You are going about a normal task that you have done a million times and this time it’s a fail! Maybe you have literally fallen down in public. Perhaps you overslept and missed that important meeting! All the while you think, “how could I have done this!”
I have my fair shares of embarrassing moments. I have been standing at the free throw line in a basketball game dribbling the ball. This is something we do at the end of every practice. Before I shoot the free throw the ball somehow hits the front of my foot and bounces away...and I step into the lane after it!
“What was I thinking!”
The worst moment for me was the night my two oldest, Israel and Camille, were getting baptized. I had the privilege of baptizing them as their father. This was supposed to be such a great moment for them and especially for me. Any parent should be thrilled that their children are making the decision to follow Christ. Just before I head down the few steps into the baptismal, one of our pastors was heading up. I decided to let them have the rail and I would walk down on the other side. I guess I didn’t realize how slippery the steps were. Needless to say, our congregation saw two feet go up in the air. I’m not sure anyone sitting knew it was me at that point. I had a decision to make. Meet my daughter in the tank and baptize her or run! I’ll admit it, I almost ran!
Sometimes stumbling or messing up makes people get defensive. It backs them into a corner. It makes you want to prove that what you just saw isn’t who I really am. I have to protect myself. I have to protect my name, my honor, my integrity and even my motives. This is the way we all were with Christ before accepting Him. The Bible says we are “enemies,” and even “hostile” towards God.
If we aren’t careful, He becomes the stumbling block in our life. And why wouldn’t He be just that. He is unattainable and we could never measure up. I believe that is the reason the people shouted for Barabbas! When I put myself next to him I look good. But Jesus? I feel exposed. I could never be good enough. How could I ever live that way? Get Him as far away as possible!
So we don’t even try. We get defensive of our own “goodness” and push away.
I love that the Bible doesn’t end in our demise. Jesus isn’t just a stumbling block. He is also referred to as a cornerstone. The main stone that was used as the foundation for a house or building. A good place to start. The thing to find before beginning any construction project. For me, He is what I have chosen to build my entire life on. I’ve made Him so important to the structure of my life, that if Jesus were ever removed, everything would crumble.
So here you see two sides. Two tales. As Moses once said to the people of Israel, “I set before you life and death.” We can view Jesus as an unattainable goal, or someone we can build our life on.
The choice is yours. Choose wisely!