As the waiter introduced us to the huge tray of delectable desserts — apple cobbler, key lime pie, etc. — my friend began giggling when he mentioned the German chocolate cake. She maintained her composure until we dismissed the waiter with a polite “no, thank you.” But then her laughter erupted!
She explained that when she turned sixteen, her parents threw her a surprise party, which turned out to be not-so-surprising when her friends couldn’t keep a secret. What was a surprise, however, was the unforgettable “mystery of the missing cake.”
As her mother went to light the candles, she cried out, “Oh, my goodness! What happened to the cake?” Everyone ran to the scene. Almost half of the 3-layer German chocolate birthday cake was gone! No one had a clue what had happened.
Then as my friend turned to walk away, everyone else began hooting and hollering hysterically. Smeared all across the seat of her khaki pants was – you guessed it – German chocolate cake!
Unfortunately, others notice the cake on our pants, or the spinach in our teeth, or the egg on our face, long before we’re aware of it ourselves. I’ve often been so grateful for the person who, rather than calling a crowd’s attention to my flaws for a big laugh, will instead pull me aside and sweetly inform me that my slip is showing beneath the hem of my dress, or my mascara is running, or that I have lipstick on my teeth. Then I can correct my flaw before others take notice.
The Holy Spirit constantly plays this role in our lives–if we’ll let Him. He gently speaks the truth in love, calling our attention to little flaws that will produce humor, at best, humiliation, at worst.
But we sometimes don’t want to listen. We don’t want to face our flaws. It’s easier to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that we’re a little closer to perfection than we really are. Then we don’t have to do the often-challenging repair work.
However, if we’ll invite the Spirit of God to speak to us regularly, and remain open to His loving admonition, we’ll find that it’s easier to correct our course when we’re only one or two degrees off target than when we’ve veered off into a completely unhealthy direction! Say, for example, too close to the dessert table!
Wishing you clean pants and a clean conscience,