So I'm up early this morning, thanks to my sense of obligation to do what's right and my sense of guilt when I don't do what I know I should. Amanda got up around 5:30am or so to go to a babysitting job, and shortly after she left I got a call on my cell phone. It was Amanda. She said that one of our neighbors was down stairs and needed a jump-start for their car. I had no desire to help. I was getting my beauty sleep. Didn't anyone understand!? Amanda said, "I've got to go but do you wanna come down and get the keys to the Buick so you can give this guy a jump?" I said, "don't worry about it." A funny answer, I know, but I was tired. After about half a second, I said, "ok, fine. I'll be down in a second." So I went down and jumped this guy's enormous full-size truck with my little Buick and then went back to bed.
Now even though I did the right thing and avoided feeling guilty there, I still felt some guilt. This time, I felt guilty because of my motives. I wasn't helping out of love. I was helping out of a false sense of obligation. Even though I did what was right in the end, I still felt bad....
Guilt is everywhere and it can attack us at any point on our journey. It can attack us when we are our most apathetic selves and it can attack us when we neglect to do what we know is right. It can even attack us when we are in the midst of doing what is good. Now, don't get me wrong, we should always keep our motives in check, but perhaps we're too hard on ourselves. Perhaps we're just too close to our actions. We take too much responsibility for ourselves. Does God expect us to be perfect and to always have clear motives? Of course not... God's no idiot. Just like I don't expect my Jr.Highers to always be perfect little angels... I'm no idiot either but I still love 'em.... We don't always have to have clear motives, we don't always have to want to do what's right. We just have to be sick enough of the world as it is that we're willing to get out of bed for the world as it should be.
In the end, it's not our work anyway. It's all God's work and God can use any broken tool to do the job. So yes, please continue to desire to have your heart beat with God's heart. But when all else fails, even in those times when you don't want to be, when you find yourself doing what's right, don't let guilt steal from you the joy of being what God's about.