I keep forgetting that I cannot fool God.
Oh, I think I can. I cloak things in the very best sort of language in my mind: Love, Christian Service, Good Samaritan - you name it, I have probably come up with it in my mind at one time. The problem is that none of this, if I get to the bottom of it, is really true. It is just me, trying to find cover to cover actions I have already decided to take.
He continues to be gracious to me, more than I probably deserve. The reprimands remain in private, exposed only to me but clearly and directly tied to the things I have done. I know, and I know that He knows.
The probably not so funny part is that I usually know too, right around the time I am doing them. You know the score: in the midst of getting ready to complete an action (for me, usually something which is being done in a rush rather than with foresight) there is that stinging moment of guilt, that sense that what you are doing is not really what you should be doing. Yes, maybe it is not out front sin that would definitively call one into to question but the questionable action that gently eases one across the line without the direct feeling of doing wrong - but it is there. You look at it, think about it for a moment, come up with some sort of rationalization - "It is the right thing to do" or "This is just a/an X. No-one would ever consider this to be over the top" - and away goes the act.
It never works out of course. The act inevitably goes awry. The thing is lost. The words are misconstrued. The action turns out to be pointless - or even worse, it turns out not to be the great moment that you imagine in your mind, the Turning Point or Great Sacrifice, but rather just a blip that happens and then is instantly swept into the torrent of time, seemingly gone without impact.
You stand there of course, holding the physical item or moment in your hand and head, wondering how such a thing could have happened. How could an event have gone so wrong as to be completely ignored or the action become so irrelevant that it is if it never happened? It is not the fault of the proposed recipient of course: God has taken care of them as well, protected them from your well-meant but perhaps not so well intentioned act. Their lives and their minds were headed other places seeking other things while all the time you were firmly planted in the dark, thinking you were a shining star.
Then the question becomes: have I learned? Have I finally learned that I cannot take events into my own hands, hearts and minds into my own possession, and try to mold them to my purposes in the absence of true noble actions and deeds? Or will I continue to cling to the idea that I can arbitrate the true inner and outer meaning of my actions, without seeing them for what they are?
Because one day - perhaps sooner than we care to believe - there will be an end to the benevolence, the quiet rebuke, the inner whisper of wrong.