That’s what we are all taught.
Try your best. Try harder. Try to do it right the first time.
If at first you don’t succeed, try… try… again.
A good, valid lesson. I tell my kids to try. My parents told me to try. Teachers implored us,
We try day in and day out.
We try to get to those pink-rimmed toilets.
We try to get to all the laundry.
We try to get it all fluffed, folded, and put away.
We try to finish the first batch of dirty dishes before the second and third invade.
We try to plow through all the schoolwork without spraying harsh words… or tears.
We try to be nice to the road rage driver whose agenda is to get there first – wherever there is.
We try to keep our middle finger down and our attitudes up when we are peppered with salty words from a random grump having a random bad day in a random store.
We try to be patient with our kids, or our bosses, or our parents, or our spouses.
We try to be understanding with our aging parents even when we think we know what’s best for them… but they just won’t listen.
We try to love our neighbors… especially the unlovable ones.
We try to be the lovable neighbor, even when we don’t feel like it.
We try to please others. And, we try to please God.
We try to work this partially wrecked vehicle we are given to drive across this lifetime. We give thanks for the fuel in our engines and the gifts in the back seat. We give thanks for the passengers who ride this road along with us. We give thanks for the tune-ups and the brake jobs, and for the fine tuning along the way.
And we try to do it right, because we are grateful. Most of the time.
Sometimes we get distracted by the roadside stands or the flashy billboards.
Sometimes we completely lose track and another vehicle comes along and creams us.
Sometimes we thoughtlessly barrel into another unsuspecting driver.
And, we’re sorry. And we wish we could take it back.
But we can’t.
So we keep going.
We try until we find ourselves stranded on the roadside wondering where it all went wrong.
We wonder how we missed the turn, and where were the signs anyway?
We wonder why we stall and become overwhelmed and exhausted.
Because, after all, we’ve tried.
Kneeling in this roadside place, I throw my spaghetti bowl mess of a mind up the heavens,
What do I do with all this?
This tangled, mangled mess of try-hard.
What do I do now?
And the flashes of light from the tow truck blind me. The One equipped to hitch us right up and tow us along while we sit shotgun. The whisper from this blinding flash in the darkest knee bent place blows through my weary spirit,
Stop trying so hard.
The clenched air exhales slowly from my worn and dented soul,
I want to do it right. I want to make You proud.
I want to make sure You keep loving me… well.
The Holy wind with His peaceful breeze washes over this weary traveller,
You don’t have to earn it.
It’s already in your hands.
The keys are yours for the taking.
Don’t try so hard.
I don’t know why. Sometimes we don’t know how to downshift. I don’t know where the lie started. This rumor that love has to be earned and tirelessly chased until caught. It’s a lie, you know.
One of our favorites. Yoda. He had it right,
Do or do not. There is no try.
Do ask. Do seek. Do knock.
Do remember the proof of Love allowed Himself to be hung on a cross for us more than two millennia ago.
I wonder if it’s time to move from the foot of the cross… beyond the cross to the resurrected Love that beckons,
Love gave us life. And breath. And hope. And no matter how hard we try or do not, Love is here to stay.
All we have to do… is be. Be-lieve.
And, deep breath…
Psalm 46:1, 10
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble…
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”