Squawk! Squawk! Squawk! I couldn’t figure out where the squawking was coming from. Squawk! Squawk! Squawk! And then I spotted him. An old crow was perched on the frame of a farm truck mirror, screeching at his own reflection.
He had been hoodwinked.
And so have I.
I have been hoodwinked by others. Early on I wanted to do what I saw others doing and not all of it was good. I fell under the spell of people pleasing and living my life for the good opinion of others -some of this was just to avoid being beat up and picked on – instead of living by a set of virtuous spiritual principles. Believing that if I were just – you fill in the blank – enough you would like me: rich enough, fit enough, religious enough, pretty enough, successful enough, had a clean enough or nice enough house, perfect enough children, belonged to just the right organizations, had the just the right friends, leaned left or right enough (been both and today I find it better to look Up to down). I was deluded by the idea that these things and more would cause other people to think I was all that. All what, I am still not sure. Following the crowd on the broad road, instead of choosing the narrow road I failed to heed abundant and clear safety warnings. I was a sheep following others, some of whom were stumbling blocks for me. And others followed me and I became a stumbling block for them. The blind leading the blind who ended up in the ditch. Jesus’s words, not mine.
Hoodwinked by listening to the world’s truth instead of God’s. Pleasure and comfort became the end goal (or little g god you might say), things, food, lust, entertainment, mood altering chemicals (both legal and illegal). Good golly, I make stupid enough decisions on my own, to think I needed chemical stupefaction to help me along with that is just plain silly.
Hoodwinked by myself and my rebellion that led me away from truth. Rebellion against authority, rules and absolutes, but mainly against God. I was fooled by the stinking thinking that God is a liar or some far distant, uninterested deity. I fooled myself into believing that what He really said was, “Just kidding!” Wink! Wink! when he rolled out the fence lines for human beings created in His image. Like He makes mistakes with laws. Let’s take gravity for example. It is a law that is still in effect the last time I checked right along with His don’t lie, cheat, steal, covet or commit adultery laws. I was duped by the idea that He has changed his mind about what is true and what is not. Or that somehow His Word in which He reveals Himself to us through a backdrop of history is suddenly rendered invalid or subject to interpretation. Or was stung by the accusation that I am simple minded if I believe the Bible to be true. This was a time when truth became relative to me. In other words, I wanted to play god (note the little g) and make up the rules. I am not so good at running the universe.
Here is an honest statement. I wanted my sin to not be sin. Now there is a prickly word we don’t hear much anymore.
I fell into the trap of believing that evil was good and good was evil. I found myself defending society’s lies because I wanted to justify my sinful (that prickly word again) behavior as I ran away from God. I forgot that I was a soul with a body and not the other way around.
Is it any wonder the world is a mess? It ain’t just me folks.
Like old Mr. Crow I believed a false reality. The false reality that a God-less world works. It doesn’t. Heading nowhere fast while I was squawking at myself and others. Anything I have to hide from God (like I can hide anything from Him, that’s really being hoodwinked) or others I shouldn’t be doing. And when I am caught, I do what always is done. I either attempt to justify my behavior or point that old index finger and blame someone or something else for my self-created troubles. Finger pointing and the blame game never solved anything. It just points four fingers back at me. Squawk! Squawk! Squawk!
I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Until I changed my reference point.
Today I take my identity in the God man, Jesus Christ and please lean in here, this is not just another thing I do, it is who I am. First, above all else. And I don’t take that lightly, so my actions better follow my words. I don’t always get it right, but at least today I am quick to see when I am wrong and wandering off track and can let God reset my GPS. And since my mission in life is to lead others into a growing personal relationship with our one and only very personal God; found only in the person of Jesus Christ, I better get it right, because I don’t want to misrepresent Him and screw it up! There is too much at stake to live a double life.
You may be thinking, “Now she has really been hoodwinked!” Perhaps, but I will take my chances with the forty-century old truth. This I do know, that the life I am living today is more true, honest, joy filled, logical, reasonable and real than ever before! And I wouldn’t trade my peace or the truth for anything. But I only get to keep it if I give it away. What a concept!
Why not give it a try? I guarantee, you won’t be in for a hoodwinking.
Be Joy filled always,