good (adj): valid, well-founded, convincing
excuse (noun): an explanation that frees one from fault or blame, justification
“By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power…the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse.” Romans 1:20
Late again on my way to work, and these excuses run through my mind:
I couldn’t find my keys.
I had to stop for gas.
My coffee spilled all over.
I hit every red light.
Maybe true, but not necessarily good excuses. None of these make up for missing part of a meeting or starting the day behind. And none of them would have made me late if I had gotten up earlier, been a bit more organized, or left on time.
Excuses become part of our pressure-filled days. We don’t want to be at fault, to be blamed when most of the time we are doing the best we can. I laugh with my friends as we playfully exaggerate and find ways to justify our less-than responsible choices…
A second trip to Starbucks? Coffee is supposed to be good for us, right?
Cereal for dinner? That’s two of the food groups at least…
Binge-watching Netflix? My shows are missing me. So is my couch.
But it’s really not funny when the people that God created in his infinite love excuse themselves from recognizing him. When we choose to put our effort and time and attention into lesser things.
When we “trade the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand,” (Romans 1:23) there really aren’t any good excuses.
Why would we ignore him? What could keep us from giving our best attention to Jesus?
“I am just so busy all the time.”
“I don’t really know how to pray–or if he even hears me.”
“I went to church on Sunday–doesn’t that count?”
We go along keeping Jesus off to the side of our lives, focusing on our busy days and getting distracted by the “cheap figurines at the roadside stand”. Comfort. Convenience. Appearance. Recognition. Material things we mistakenly think will make us feel content.
Let’s not make excuses for choosing to live on the outside of his glory and love. The free and fulfilling life he offers us far surpasses anything else that we might choose to pursue.
How can we be sure?
The evidence is everywhere. Our amazing creator allows us to experience the thundering energy of the ocean waves, the resplendent stillness of the forest, the magnificence of the starlit skies, and the miracle of spring. He generously empowers us with the gifts of his word and his spirit in our hearts. He nurtures us, growing us in community as we build meaningful relationships with those who love him and love us.
He gives to us the gift of himself in every place, every situation, every emotion, every need…
“Open your eyes and there it is!” Romans 1:19
Invite Him in: Open your eyes to everything he has created around you. Thank him for the gifts of beauty and love that he brings into your world and into your life. He will keep showing you his glory as you keep looking for him–choosing him above anything else. You won’t need any more excuses when you live in his love.