So, today I have a fable to share with you, here it goes. Once upon a time there was a cute little red haired boy named Ned. Ned was a smart little feller and he was always thinking. Thinking about life and how things worked and how he could get ahead. There was only one problem, Ned was born with a thingamabobby around his neck. Most of the time it didn't bother him, he could still do most of the stuff his friends did. He could still ride his bike and look for treasures in the dirt. Everyday he would put on his sweatpants and head outside to play. Only once in a while would the thingamabobby cause a problem, like one time when he was climbing a tree and the thingamabobby caught on a small branch and almost choked the life out of him. He recovered from that incident without too many scars but was a little more cautious the next time he went on tree climbing adventures. As his body grew, his neck did too and the thingamabobby kept getting tighter and harder to ignore. He would try and try to forget that it was there and go about his daily life but something would always remind him. A pinch here, a catch there, he was having a harder and harder time living life and enjoying it. It all came to a breaking point on the most important day of his life. Through all of his struggles he still managed to find his soul mate and was preparing to meet her at the front of the church and say 'I do' for the rest of his life. His bride was well aware of the thingamabobby that continued to strangle the life out of him and she was supportive but was always searching for an answer for him. As he was pulling out his shiny black shoes and his well pressed tux he found something in the bag that made his heart feel heavy and sad. It was a bow tie. He had seen them before and had dreaded the day when he might come face to face with one of his own. How would he be able to add to his already crowded neckline? How would he fit it over something that was getting harder and harder to conceal? As the questions in his mind raced, he glanced down in the bag and gasped at what he saw. It was a thingamabobby, just like the one he shamefully wore around his neck. He grabbed it and immediately called the tux shop to find out who was playing this sick joke on him. The girl at the shop answered and with her thick southern accent began listing the things that were supposed to be in the bag. "A shirt, a jacket, a pair of pants, socks, shoes, cuff links, a bow tie and a belt" she told him. A belt? He begged her for some explanation as to what in the world he was supposed to do with a belt. "It's to hold up your pants silly." He quickly hung up the phone and yanked the belt off of his neck, took off his sweatpants and exchanged them for his perfectly pressed tuxedo pants and slid the belt through each loop and tightened it carefully. He raced off to await his bride and couldn't wait to show her what he had happened.
Now, this may seem very unrealistic as it should, it is a fable after all and the point of fables is to teach a lesson, not necessisarily make sense. So here is our lesson from Ned. You see, Ned was given something that could be very useful and harmless but because he used it wrong, it became a nuisance, a hindrance and even a danger. None of us wear belts around our necks but how many of us take a characteristic given to us by God and because we don't understand it, we misuse it. We make excuses for it, it damages our relationships, it keeps us from being the person we were created to be. Sometimes we say, "oh, that's just how I was made, that's just who I am, there's nothing I can do about it." We hide behind it and it often paralyzes us. But don't you see, we were made in His image, intended to do great thing. Sometimes what we think is a weakness, ends up being the thing that God gave us to be our greatest strength. In our weakness, He is strong. So what's your thingamabobby? What's holding you back from the life God has planned for you? Is it worry, anxiety, temper, insecurity, fear of failure, maybe a critical spirit? Everyone has something, it's just where they wear it that matters. Mine was/is worry (I'm still working at putting it in those belt loops). I have worried about the weirdest things my whole life, things that I should worry about I usually don't. As I deal with this issue, I've started to realize that I need to replace worry with prayer. The verse that says don't be anxious about anything but instead pray and petition, that has been my verse for some time. I sometimes end up praying all day just to keep myself from worrying. I think that is what God wants from me, a life of prayer and not of worry. What does God want you to do with your thingamabobby?
So here is the moral to our fable:
Don't be like Ned with the red head and not get out of bed because what was meant to hold up his pants was choking the life out of him instead!