≡ Menu

The new evil word in my vocabulary

I don’t know why thoughts like this routinely come into my head at 11:30 at night.  God must be preparing me for a severe sleep deprivation sometime in the future.

There I was minding my own business making my pre-bed hot chocolate and ruminating over a couple of posts at Rich’s blog.  I was thinking about how agitated I get over liturgical abuses when this little conversation took place:

But why do you care so much?

Because it’s the Body and Blood of Christ.  It’s Him on the altar.  There’s nothing I could care about more.


{Insert dread realization of how badly I’ve failed in my role both of late and in general.  Like a book of my life being opened before me, only without all the pages flipping by for dramatic effect.}

I know.  I just…

Yes.  You just.

Ever get that feeling in the pit of your stomach that you’ve just been found out?  Yeah, that was me right there.  I briefly hoped my spiritual deer in the headlights look wasn’t too obvious, but, well, that just wasn’t going to happen.

I just…

For everything I could do I’ve always had an excuse, a delaying tactic close at hand.  I just need to finish collegeI just need to finish up this one little choreI just need to get the bills squared awayI just need to wait until I know without a doubt what God wants from me.  There is nothing I can’t put off five minutes, five days, five years more.

Do you notice the one thing missing?  Trust.  There is absolutely no faith, no trust in myself or in God in those statements.  I look at an opportunity to do something good, maybe even something great, and respond with an “I just” that lets me fill up with microscopic time wasters guaranteed to make sure that good or great is never done.  And best of all it comes with a built in excuse – “I would have, I just…”.

It all comes down to one simple question, “which do you love more, your excuse … or your God?”  For someone who has practiced the fine art of delay and forestall as long as I have the honest answer to that question comes with far more difficulty than you might otherwise think.  What should be the correct answer is obvious, but do I?  Do I really?  “I just” has been a constant companion of mine for so long the world should seem considerably different without it.

Just as the crack addict shakes when the drug is removed, I sit here slightly cowering, wondering if I can really do this.  If it were not for “with God all things are possible” this would certainly seem a task far too great.  Can I get the I just beast back in his cage?  Not by myself no, but with the grace of God I shall start down the road.

“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from the Evil One.” (Mt 5:37)

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Lisa, sfo November 10, 2009, 4:25 pm

    Am catching up on your posts and wanted to thank you for sharing this. Insightful, honest, and well-written … and something I can totally relate to; you’re not alone in the battle against the “I just …” hydra.

  • frival November 10, 2009, 6:32 pm

    It is indeed a hydra, isn’t it? Once you accept an “I just …” for one thing two more “I just …” opportunities pop up. Screwtape is sneaky…

  • Mike November 10, 2009, 8:46 pm

    I just 🙂 read your post and wow! That hurts!

  • Scott November 12, 2009, 2:45 pm

    Thanks Peter.

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: