COME BACK HOME CALEB; WHEN ‘THE MASTER IS ASKING FOR TOO MUCH’
Caleb had gone rogue, throwing his hopes and values outside the window. All he knew was right and noble, he abandoned. He was tired of trying so hard to be honorable and yet failing miserably at every attempt. The one he called master did not want less than he offered. Even if he had learnt of the master’s love, he had also heard of his standards. The standards seemed so high for Caleb to match up to despite the master’s assurance that he would help him meet them.
Caleb had questions, worries, doubts, regrets and fears which all clouded up his days. He felt like crap on several occasions. Too much defaulting on his master’s expectations weighed heavily on him. He had heard that the master was gracious but felt guilty that he was probably instead taking advantage of that, sometimes out rightly defying him. So he gave up after years of soul battles, battles between right and wrong, battles between his inner man and outer self. He condemned himself in spite of the comfort that the master gave him. He fought alone even with the recommendations the master had given him on how to depend on him. He still often felt powerless even with the equipment his master had given him. The wrong that he was supposed to preach against he was instead a slave to. And like that, Caleb snapped, opting out of a life he felt had become depressing, a continuous guilt trip and choosing another life, one with lower standards, a path with wider roads, a route he considered more comfortable.
Sometimes, we get tempted to go Caleb’s way; just give up because we feel we have failed our master: God. It is selfish to want to deal with the sin problem on our own without giving the control to the God we know can help us. We get frustrated because we isolate ourselves, wanting our struggles to be ours; we fear and shun getting help because we may be considered weak and disgusting, and that’s pride. We listen to the voices of the enemy, a liar and father of lies, who whispers that we are irredeemable and too filthy to be mended. We wallow in the fields of self-pity that offer no solution, and choose to stay rolling in the mud. And although we should indeed steer clear of sin, we should also never forget that His love is unconditional and eternal, He is not out to get us, He is love. Once we focus on cultivating a relationship with Him, everything else will fall in line.
If I had a friend that I love and want to please but allow and focus on fighting my flaws and weaknesses as a route to preserving our relationship, that effort will only prove abortive, I will fail with that approach, for what one focuses on only consumes them, whether they’re aiming to adopt it or are fighting it. I should, preferably, pay more attention to the love that they have for me, marvel at it and meditate on it and slowly by slowly my flaws will dim in their embrace. If I concentrate on loving them, instead of trying to combat my defects and blemishes, I will find that these imperfections will give way to restoration and growth for me and for the relationship, for love heals, love conquers and love covers a multitude of sins. We should revel in the greatest love that will ever be encountered, the selfless love of a friend who gave his life for us in a beautiful exchange; the love of God.
Let’s not go Caleb’s way, let’s choose to love back, not to fight on our own, for the latter is a quick way to frustration. Come-on Caleb, come back home, the arms of the master, who calls you ‘son’, are wide open and he’s looking forward to your return and subsequent stay. It may be hard and tough this side but you can count on the master’s rich love. That place where you went may glitter but believe me, it’s not golden there, come back home; this is where you belong.