There is one scene in the movie where Wayne and Garth, the two main characters, go to an Alice Cooper concert and wind up with backstage passes. As the two of them come into Alice Cooper's presence for the first time, they hit their knees and begin chanting, "We're not worthy...we're not worthy."
This was the image that came to my mind when I read the devotion readings from Joshua this morning. I'm done with Deuteronomy now, at least until next year, and moving on to another part of the story. The Israelites are crouched on the banks of the Jordan, getting ready to cross. They have sent spies into the land to check things out and see what was there. Word had gotten around that these two were spies, so the locals were looking for them. One woman in town, her name was Rahab, (and let's just say that her profession is one of the oldest and leave it at that) took it upon herself to hide these spies under the stack of grain on her roof.
Now, here is the connection between Rahab and Wayne & Garth. A lot of folks, and I know several personally, feel unworthy to be used by God. And I have to say that I'm not exactly sure why. Ok, yes I am, and here it is. I think it boils down to forgiveness, and our ability to accept it; to forgive ourselves and move on.
We have this uncanny ability to hold a self-grudge. Yeah, we mess up, and sometimes we even mess up big, but the bigger truth is, God doesn't hold the same grudge against us that we hold against ourselves. Sometimes we get hung up in our pasts, and forget that God is a God of the present and the future also.
Scripture doesn't say that Rahab didn't feel worthy to be used by God. It's just not there. But here we have a woman who's past would have left her out of many circles, even today; and we see her hearing a call from God and acting on it. She would not have been seen as very holy by many in town, and there would have certainly been some who would have let her know that. So, we can assume that she had some self worth issues like we might sometimes. How could God use someone with a past like hers? How could God use someone with a past like ours?
What Wayne and Garth found, was that Alice Cooper was pretty easy to get along with. I mean, sure, he's a rock icon, no doubt, but evidently quite personable. As they talked together, you could begin to see the sense of unworth fade and a kind of uncomfortable ease began to take its place. Maybe that's the key. Maybe it's about taking the time to build the relationship. How did they do that? By engaging in conversation. How do we do that? The same way.
Yeah, we mess up. I've done it a lot, and still do with a fair sense of regularity. You've messed up. Sometimes it's easier to admit than others. Sometimes, those mistakes DON'T lead to a feeling of worthlessness. Sometimes, they do. In those times, I encourage you to begin the conversation, we call that repentance. Don't allow the folks around you to determine your self worth, like they must have done for Rahab. Allow God to forgive you the mistakes of your past, and grant you hope for your future.
May God remind you that you are a child of sacred worth.