High/My Infidelity

Today I have the honor of having Mark Thielbar guest post on Abraham Chronicles. I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with him via the interwebs over the last couple months. He is the master of awesome comments (encouraging and challenging at the same time). He is admitted wine/coffee snob (I’m okay with that). Mark blogs at 3-Fold Cord and tweets @3foldcordcom. Be sure to show him some love in the comments!

My first taste of the bitter fruit of infidelity occurred at the tender age of thirteen. At that time I was “dating” a girl named Buffy; and by dating I mean we met at the local roller rink every Friday night to hold hands, couples skate, and share cheesy nachos. On our three-week anniversary, which is a real milestone for 7th graders, Buffy had to leave the rink early because she was going out of town with her parents. Now I was disappointed of course, but I was there with a couple of my boys and we were known for skating hard and closing down roller rinks. We were pretty intense!

On the last couples skate of the night, some random girl, sporting a scrunchy and multiple glow sticks, asked me to skate. My friends were egging me on and I eventually succumbed to the peer pressure as well as her glowing feminine wiles. All I remember was the girl was a lousy skater, because I had to skate backwards, and the last song was “Open Arms” by Journey (good stuff!) As soon as I exited the floor I was confronted by one of Buffy’s mousy little friends that I had only met once before. She informed me I was a “cheater” and then proceeded to rattle off a string of obscenities where she called me everything but a white boy going through puberty! During her tirade I barley noticed the hulk-like girl standing beside her. After her verbal assault ended, but before I could retort, I felt a powerful blunt force trauma to the left side of my face. You know how they say that the punch that does the most damage is the one you don’t see coming…Well, that was it! Apparently that she-hulk (another friend of Buffy’s) sucker punched me so hard that, according to witnesses, my skates literally went over my head as I was on my way to the floor! When I came to, I was lying on my back next to the Foosball ball table- and the front wheels of my skates were still spinning (along with my head!) Yes, I was knocked the “****-out” by a girl.

Over the past year I have engaged in a more serious infidelity: one that involves trying to rely solely on commonsense and my own abilities. I have come to learn that if a Holy Spirit filled believer puts anyone or anything before God, utter confusion and worry rears its ugly head! Folks, I have to admit, I have spent a good portion of the last year worried and confused. I have put commonsense first and I have treated Jesus like a spiritual appendage to it. Oh what a fool I have been! Have you ever noticed what Jesus said would choke the Word? It was not Satan or his minions…it was the “cares of this world.”

Infidelity begins when we do not believe that God can take care of our needs. Infidelity is magnified when we enthrone commonsense and try to use Jesus Christ like a spiritual Swiss Army knife.

My brothers and sisters- if you are currently experiencing worry and confusion in your life, I can guarantee that you are not putting Jesus Christ on the throne where HE belongs. The cure for infidelity is steadfast obedience to the Spirit of God.

So just remember to put Jesus first; keep your skates on the ground; and don’t let the cares of this world sucker punch you!

::

Have you ever been guilty of spiritual infidelity?
Did you go roller skating when you were younger?

41 Comments

  • Rob Shepherd

    July 29, 2011

    What a challenging post! It reminds me of what James says, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God?”

    Reply
    • Mark

      July 29, 2011

      Rob, thank you for your kind comment! And yes, we tend to be a “stiff-necked” people at times.

      I also have to say that my neck was a bit stiff after that run in with that girl I affectionately call the “Big-Hurt!” Wow- what a woman!

      Reply
  • Loren Pinilis

    July 29, 2011

    Speaking of sucker punches, your segue got me pretty good (although, I guess I should’ve seen it coming). It seems that running under my own power is something that I’ve really been struggling with lately. Thanks for the encouragement and the challenge.

    Reply
    • Mark

      July 29, 2011

      LOL! Thank you Loren. I know I wish I would have seen that “Haymaker” coming. Now I’m not sure I could have done anything about it, but I tell myself I could’ve;)

      God has really been working with me in regards to not relying on my own understanding. HE has had to knock me down a few times…but unlike the fem-fatal pugilist in the story…HE is always there to pick me up.

      Blessings to you and yours Loren!

      Reply
      • Dustin

        August 1, 2011

        Haymaker… LOL. Love what you said right there, Mark: “He is always there to pick us up!”

        Reply
  • Joseph

    July 29, 2011

    Challenging word! We read it, we write it, we tweet it… but will we practice it? The first three are pointless without the practice…

    Reply
    • Mark

      July 29, 2011

      Great point Joseph! The Christian life is all about FATHER son relationship with the almighty. I have come to learn that total abandonment to HIS Word and Will leads to divinely directed path.

      I would also ask that if you see me putting up this same post six months from now, please come over and knock me out!

      Reply
      • Dustin

        August 1, 2011

        Joseph, Yes! As the great Allen Iverson once infamously said, “It all about… Practice!”

        Reply
  • Emily

    July 29, 2011

    Ouch…that’s convicting. Recently found myself doing something similar, though: relying on my own ability to make decisions (which was seriously lacking) rather than keeping my focus on Christ. Came to realize that the more time I spend seeking out MY direction in life, the less time I actually spend going HIS direction. Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
    • Mark

      July 29, 2011

      Ouch is right Emily! I remember I took a few weeks off from the roller rink to lick my wounds and undergo some intense analysis:->

      “Came to realize that the more time I spend seeking out MY direction in life, the less time I actually spend going HIS direction. Thanks for the reminder!”

      Now that’s a “knockout” statement! Thank you very much Emily!

      Reply
      • Dustin

        August 1, 2011

        And His directions are so much better! :)

        Reply
  • John

    July 29, 2011

    This was a great post! Funny story. You were a brave thirteen year old..before you got hit by a girl. Lol.

    And yes I have guilty of spiritual infedility many times, as I have allowed so many things to keep me from honoring Christ. My obedience and dependence upon Him these days is often hindered by my attempts at figuring out my own life and where I am headed. Thanks for the reminder today.

    Reply
    • Mark

      July 29, 2011

      Thank you for your kind comments John.

      To be honest, if I knew what was coming, I would have skated right out the fire exit and rolled all the way home! This would not have been an easy decision considering I would have had to leave my purple PUMA’s® and my Members Only Jacket behind!

      Have a blessed day John!

      Reply
    • Mark

      July 29, 2011

      Thanks for rubbing salt in the wound John. I will have you know that I talked to my mom last week and she told me that I had nothing to be ashamed of. So there! LOL!

      Thank you for commenting John; and your transparency regarding your shortcomings speaks volumes of your character!

      Reply
      • Dustin

        August 1, 2011

        John, I can relate to the “where am I headed” feeling. Thanks for sharing.

        And Mark – you kill me. Pumas and a Members Only jacket? I’m dying over here. :)

        Reply
  • Cindy Holman

    July 29, 2011

    Mark – what a convicting post. Yes. I’ve been guilty of this many times. My own agenda and schedule sometimes leaves spiritual disciplines in the dust. I used to be Queen of “Skate King” back in the day – even had my own pair of roller skates – they were GOLD If you can believe that! I used to dread the “couples skate” where they always played “Stairway to Heaven” :) I was never a very good skater – too timid and never mastered skating backwards either – darn it all anyway.

    Reply
    • Mark

      July 29, 2011

      Thank you for the great comment Cindy!

      “I used to be Queen of “Skate King” back in the day – even had my own pair of roller skates – they were GOLD If you can believe that!”

      That is classic! I had my own skates too, but I bet they were not as fancy as yours! I will say that I was well versed at backwards skating as well as the infamous crab-skate. I used to practice my moves in my parents basement too! Kinda sad when you think about it.

      Reply
      • Dustin

        August 1, 2011

        I think Stairway to Heaven has to be the ultimate skate song… start off slow, build up, then BAM! — surprise everyone with some killer moves/twists/acrobatic twirls!

        Mark, Practice your moves? LOL.

        Reply
  • Sandy Sandmeyer

    July 29, 2011

    What a great post, Mark! I loved to go skating every Saturday for 3 WHOLE HOURS at the Stratford Roller Park, not to be confused with the old roller rink with an organ. This one had popular music blaring and late night skate hours.

    And, not proud at all of spiritually infidelity every day. I want to spend time with God, but I don’t make time. I KNOW what I need to do, but I don’t do it.

    Reply
    • Mark

      July 29, 2011

      Thank you so much Sandy for your kind words!

      The Rink where I peddled by wares was called Rollarama. The Friday and Saturday night skates went from 7pm-11pm: 4-hours of pure mayhem!

      That old roller rink with the organ sounds awesome!

      And, not proud at all of spiritually infidelity every day. I want to spend time with God, but I don’t make time. I KNOW what I need to do, but I don’t do it.

      I’m guilty of this as well! I now get up an hour early and put my butt in my prayer chair:) I have found that God always provides the time…but HE does not give me the discipline. That onus is on me.

      Blessings to you and yours!

      Reply
      • Dustin

        August 1, 2011

        Sandy, that is the where the rubber meets the road. I can relate! For me, starting small like actually getting up 10 minutes earlier and just praying has lead to “more” things. Thanks for that comment!

        Reply
  • Jon

    July 29, 2011

    Wow…definitely needed to read this one today. Yes, I’ve been guilty of spiritual infidelity. I’ve allowed cares, worries, troubles to take precedence over my relationship with God. Thanks for the word!

    Never went roller skating when I was young. Actually, I went ice skating for the first time three years ago, and I had such an awful experience….I don’t like anything skates now lol…

    Reply
    • Mark

      July 29, 2011

      Thank you very much Jon!

      Those “cares, troubles, and worries” are pesky little devils that plague the mind and lead to all sorts of problems. The last year for me has been a real “learning and leaning” experience…for I have had to learn to totally lean on HIM instead of my own futile plans and ideas.

      I only went ice skating once and I hated it! The next day I felt like someone had taken a ball-peen hammer to my ankles. However, after writing this post- I’m tempted to strap on the wheels again!

      Reply
      • Dustin

        August 1, 2011

        Here’s the thing with ice skating: don’t get the girlie skates — you know the ones with those ridged tips on the front. Every time I get those I fall on my face. Even though I haven’t gone in years, I used to get the hockey ice skates. Worked perfectly! :)

        Reply
  • Luther Wesley

    July 29, 2011

    I just couldn’t get past the part of you getting knocked out by a girl….LOL.

    Throughout the OT God had to continually call Israel back and referred to them as adulterous, harlots, and such. We are the same in every way. We do wander, we do commit idolatry, and we ( this is myself as I am a fixer and a lazy perfectionist )we often put our own thoughts and solutions before the wisdom of God.

    God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. He has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise…the question is are we willing to be foolish for Christ?

    Reply
    • Mark

      July 29, 2011

      Luther,

      Glad you found some joy in my humiliating experience. I have to say that I’m getting much better…for I now only wake up screaming once a month!

      “God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. He has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise…the question is are we willing to be foolish for Christ?”

      I like that a lot!

      Reply
  • Moe

    July 29, 2011

    ha!!! You got beat up by a girl! Sucka!!!! :)

    Have I been spiritual unfaithful? Heck yeah, I’ve been a spiritual harlot selling the goods for cheap, fast and passionate pleasures.

    I’ve grown since and even when I spiritually flirt with the world, The Spirit reminds me of His discipline and love.

    Have I been skating. Dude, I am like the male Nancy Kerrigan (minus the brutal attack).

    Reply
    • Mark

      July 29, 2011

      Thanks Moe!

      In my defense- it was obvious this girl was classically trained in the “Sweet Science”. I also heard that 5 years later she won the local “Toughman” contest. Had I not enlisted in the military I would have been there! Well, in the crowd anyway:->

      “Have I been skating. Dude, I am like the male Nancy Kerrigan (minus the brutal attack).

      LOL’s!

      Reply
      • Dustin

        August 1, 2011

        Moe = Nancy. How am I not surprised? You’re like a frosty gazelle on the rink, right?

        Reply
  • Ally Garner

    July 29, 2011

    One of the best blog posts i’ve ever read. Truly, i loved this topic and appreciate this in particular: “Have you ever noticed what Jesus said would choke the Word? It was not Satan or his minions…it was the “cares of this world.”

    Awesome post & hysterical story. Although, i don’t believe i woulda told that… *kidding*

    Reply
    • Mark

      July 29, 2011

      Thank you so much Ally! Let me know where to send the card and flowers:-)

      Yes, the cares/busyness of this world will keep us from reaching our full spiritual potential. But like Solomon said: “all is vanity and vexation of spirit”.

      “Awesome post & hysterical story. Although, i don’t believe i woulda told that… *kidding*”

      You may be right. Silence is sometimes golden.

      Thank you again and have a blessed weekend!

      Reply
      • Dustin

        August 1, 2011

        Don’t believe that – we all appreciate you being brutally honest like that, Mark! :)

        Reply
  • ProjectMathetes

    July 29, 2011

    What a sissy! You got pimp-slapped by a chick! Bwahahahahahaha! I fear I shall not look at you the same from now on.

    Kidding, Mark, just kidding…:)

    Spiritual infidelity is indeed what happens when we take our eyes off of His Sovereignty and His provisions and His…well, His everything. Many books and sermons and seminars and “retreats” have all tried to bring this point home to us, but to no avail. I’m hoping maybe THIS time, after reading your post here, that folks will GET IT and move on to maturity and properly related and intentionally postured sonship to our Father.

    Hoping.

    Reply
    • Mark

      July 30, 2011

      Donald, I was wondering when you were finally going to come over and get your pound of flesh;)

      As for the rest of your comment: Amen! We have talked about this in great deal and we are on the same page.

      Have a great weekend Donald!

      Reply
      • Mark

        July 30, 2011

        In great *detail* that is. Donald I did not want you to email me regarding another typo…lol

        Reply
  • Charlie

    July 30, 2011

    This story is hilarious! But it also rings true with significance! I struggle in the area of trusting in G-D myself. Thank you for sharing this story and some embarrassment!

    Reply
    • Mark

      July 30, 2011

      Charlie, thanks for stopping by and playing in my sandbox of humiliation;-) I hope you took away something more than laughs…but sometimes that is more than enough!

      Have a blessed weekend!

      Reply
      • Dustin

        August 1, 2011

        I think it’s wise to share embarrassment every now and then. :)

        Reply

Leave a Reply