The other day, I dropped off a six-pack of Matchbox cars for a young boy who, I could tell, didn’t particularly care for the coloring book and stickers I took him and his sister, the last time I popped over unannounced.
Natalie was home from college, just before finals week, we were driving back from dinner, and I asked her to place the package on the front mat, ring the door-bell and run quickly back to the car so we could escape before being spotted.
When I think of Matchbox cars, I often think of Matchbox 20 and the song 3 am. I especially like the lyric that says, “She thinks that happiness is the mat that sits on her doorway.”
And it’s true. I do.
I used to have a mat that sat at the back door in Mason that read, “We have a vacuum, we’ve found God and we gave at the office.” It brought me happiness in a snarky, sarcastic kind of way. Probably because I’m still a little bitter over the Rainbow vacuum I bought, but couldn’t afford, and then it caught my carpet on fire.
That’s another story.
It’s important for you to track with me here for a minute because when I hear the song 3 am, I think of the mat. And when I think of the mat, I think of the man that Jesus healed down by the water. The paralyzed one he told to get up.
“Get up!” he said. “Do you want to get well?” The guy had been an invalid for like 38 years and Jesus had the nerve to ask him what might have sounded like a very offensive question. I imagine there might have been a little bit of a tone.
“Do you even want to get well?”
Do we? I sometimes see myself sitting next to the man in the story from John 5:1.
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Talk about a doormat.
After that many years of affliction, you would think he might have been able to muster up enough courage and discipline to at least squiggle his way into the water. But, the man was just lying around, making excuses, and blaming everyone else around him.
We find what we look for.
If we really want to get something done, we will make a way. If not, we will make an excuse.
Stop surrounding yourself with the type of people who just want to keep stirring things up. Welcome the people into your life that are in your corner and willing to help. Jesus helped him and healed him, right there on the spot.
“Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
I often find myself wondering where he went first.
I’ve been stuck in the same place for too long before, places where I knew I could not get out of on my own. Those, pull me down places that needed the power of God, good friends and a good word to get me up and going again.
Now I track my walking steps with a plum colored Fit Bit. I have a vacuum I love and a home office to give from. I’m not exactly sure if I found God or he found me. I’m just glad he always seems to welcome me in when I show up, announced, after I’ve run out of places to go.