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I grew up in suburban Charleston, with houses right next door and dirty city air.  My family often escaped to a vacation home my parents owned in North Carolina, and when we did, we found ourselves in wide open space, which is extremely exciting to a ten year old boy.

There was this time when my sister and I, as children, were riding bikes on my parent’s property in North Carolina.  A large hill emptied itself into a stream, and my father had cut out a trail on the hill: straight down from the top, into the puddles of the stream below.  

It began really innocently, fast and furious down the hill, through the mud, and back up again.  The mud began to accumulate, and when we came back up to the cabin on the property, my parents had to hose us off.  We were covered in mud.

There are moments in life where we’re reminded of how dirty we are.  Sometimes it comes immediately, but sometimes we’ve been playing in the mud for quite a while before we realize it.

Jesus calls us to be clean.  There is no doubt about that.  His standard is spotless.  His standard is perfection.  And we are faced with the reality that we are not meeting and cannot meet that standard.

Today is one of those days for me.  It’s not an easy feeling, or a pleasant one.  But, in the long run, this is one of those realities that draws me to Jesus.

I often think of this ride I took with my youth pastor several years after I had graduated.  My youth pastor, Jerry, was instrumental in communicating Jesus to me in a way that impacted my life.  I had never known Jesus before as wanting to change me; I only thought He was changing where I went.  Jerry was about as much like Jesus as I could imagine.  While we were riding Jerry sighed “You know, the longer I follow Jesus the more I’m convinced of how rotten and sinful I am and how much I need Him.”

I’m glad that I’m reminded of how dirty I am occasionally.  I’m glad, because it reminds me of how much I truly need Jesus.


Listening to: Aqualung “Pressure Suit”

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