Alignment: proper or desirable coordination or relation of components.
When your car needs an alignment, it pulls to one side instead of moving forward in a straight trajectory. Braces are used to achieve proper alignment of teeth. A level is used to assure pictures are hung with equal distribution-so as not to be catawampus.
In the same way we have specific objects to ensure the proper or desirable coordination of components, believers have the gift of the Holy Spirit to do similar work.
My youngest son (7 years old), recently asked me to make him a bagel. No big deal, except that he had just finished eating a full breakfast (if food was a love language, suffice it to say it would be his). I told him I would oblige, but it would be awhile before it was ready. I was preoccupied with “other things.” Once his bagel was ready, I called him to the kitchen. He sheepishly looked from the table to the kitchen counter in search of the beloved bagel. With a spring to his step, he grabbed it up. And then I heard those words, “You’re the best mom, ever!”
I replayed those words in my head a few times and immediately felt the conviction. The deep down, look yourself in the face conviction. The conversation in my head sounded like this, “Yes, son…the best mom ever when I give you exactly what you asked for within a relatively short time of your asking. Then I am the best mom, but god-forbid I say no to your innocent request…because then I am no longer the best, but the worst mom ever!”
No more did these thoughts enter my mind, then I felt shamelessly exposed before God. I stood wondering if anyone else was aware of the dangerous misalignment of my heart. The awful realization that the interaction between me and my little guy looked oddly similar to the way I behave with the Lord when my heart and head and not in proper alignment. Times when my heart/spirit lead one way, but my head has a strong pull in the opposite direction. When my life is guided less by submission, and more by what is intuitive/that which makes the most sense.
I believe the hope in our lives comes when our head and heart converge in the presence of the Holy Spirit…that place where our best looks like face down, palms up submission. Authentically offering my thoughts and will to my Creator. Believing, deep-down into the core of my being, that His leading circumvents my “knowledge.”
When my son uttered the words, “You’re the best mom, ever,” I couldn’t help but stand convicted. Convicted about the number of times I skipped praising my God because I didn’t feel like He was good. The times I shook my fist toward heaven because I didn’t feel like the answers were coming fast enough. And then I couldn’t help but acknowledge the need to properly align my heart and mind with my Father.
Just for the record, I didn’t delay in preparing the bagel for my guy to be mean. I was tending to laundry and helping my daughter pack for camp–work I was doing was on behalf of other people in the house. His request didn’t go unheard; he just had to experience waiting. The Lord graciously provides a little waiting-in my own life-so my heart and head can align and move toward His presence. In His presence, His nature is revealed. In that holy place, my mouth can’t help but praise.
And so I arrive at the place I began…a necessary alignment of my head and heart, believing that my “waiting” period is simply due to the fact that my Father is tending to a variety of needs within my “family.” And ever the “best Father,” He will answer in due time…and I may, or may not, like His answer. The answer can’t change my belief about His nature. He is good…ALL THE TIME!
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. ~Psalm 145:3
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. ~ Psalm 27:14
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. ~Psalm 40:1-5