by Stacy Sanchez
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6 NIV
So, does anyone else have a pin on Google Maps commemorating your stupidity? No? Just me? Google Maps allows its users to locate a place on a map then “drop a pin” icon on that area. Lucky Me! X marks the spot where my impulsivity is pinned for the whole world to see.
Literally. The pin is titled “Stacy’s Sinkhole.” I’m so proud.
A few years ago, I was vacationing with my husband, son, and daughter-in-law on Ambergris Caye, Belize. The four of us were exploring a remote area of the island when I saw a conch shell off in the distance.
“Stop the cart!” Thinking there was a problem, my son slammed on the brake.
“There’s a conch shell. I want it.” And, off I ran to retrieve it.
My husband flew off the cart behind me because my poor guy knows from years of experience that he is about to have to save me from another bad idea. “Stop! You don’t need that one. There’s got to be others. You don’t know what is in the brush. Get back in the cart.”
“No. What if I don’t find another? I’ll regret not going after this one.”
The next step I took taught me the meaning of regret. My front foot landed in the middle of a wet, stinky, sinking mud hole while my back foot stayed far behind, as if I was an Olympic gymnast practicing the splits. I haven’t done the splits in forty years. Ouch! I was stuck. The more I moved, the more I sank. The more I sank, the more I was stuck in this very unladylike position.
And, what does my family do when there is a crisis? My sweet husband jumped into action to save my sorry backside, my daughter-in-law laughed hysterically and whipped out her phone to take Instagram-worthy pictures, and my son, being used to his mother’s antics, rolled his eyes and decided to drop a pin on the map to memorialize this most special occasion.
It took all three of them to get me out. I still want to find out who on ‘Team Sanchez’ suggested they tie my bum to a winch. I lost my shoes, ruined my clothes, and spent the rest of the day exploring barefoot, embarrassed, and covered in stinky mud. I wouldn’t have minded so much if the mud gave me a great facial. It just attracted flies.
But, I got that conch shell, darn it! It sits on my book shelf mocking me—I mean, as a reminder to think before acting. (Come to find out, just up the road about twenty feet stood a huge pile of conch shells. I could have grabbed one of those.)
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace”(Romans 8:5,6 NIV). Next to this passage in my Bible is a picture of me covered in mud: Exhibit A.
In these verses, the Apostle Paul was teaching the church in Rome (and us) that as followers of Jesus, they were to become more like Him. Like us, even Jesus was called to not follow His fleshly desires. (Gasp! Jesus had fleshly desires? Yep.)
Jesus left glory and humbled Himself to the will of God. He said: “I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me” (John 6:38 NIV). John the Baptist said: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30 ESV). In Galatians, Paul reiterates the point by saying, “It is no longer I that live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:29 ESV).
With Jesus as our example, we are called to humble ourselves and not follow our fleshly desires. We are to live in such a way that when the world looks at us, they see Him.
Following my desires left me stuck in an embarrassing quagmire needing a winch to get out.
Following His ways leads me to an abundant life of peace.
Heavenly Father, You want us to follow Your ways and not our fleshly desires. Help us, Lord to become more like You and less like us. It’s hard work to get the ‘me’ out of me. I can be so hard-headed and stubborn when I want something. But, Lord, our true heart’s desire should be that we are following You and Your ways so closely, that when the world looks at us, they will only see You.
About the author: Stacy Sanchez has been married to her beloved husband, John, for 32 years, is a mother of 5, and a very young grandmother of six (soon to be seven) yummy grandcherubs. She is a pastor, author, and speaker. Her passions include teaching Christians about the Jewish roots of their faith, as well as helping to empower women to become all that God has created them to be. When not teaching or writing, you will find Stacy and John walking on the beach and playing with their grandchildren. You can connect with Stacy at her blog, writetotheheart.org, and on Facebook and Instagram.
Join the conversation: Have you ever gotten yourself in trouble by not being able to say no to yourself?