“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Ps 61
You have heard it before, “she practices what she preaches” “he doesn’t practice what he preaches.” If you have said those words, are you a person of low expectations, or simply easily deceived?
When people champion a cause or a principle, they speak of ideals in ideal language. Some have been exasperated with me for comparing the advocates of plant-based nutrition to preachers of tent revivals. I have heard both and, believe me, it is an apt comparison.
This is not to find fault with either. Both are zealous to point out the benefits of their experiences. Where they tend to lose their hearers is in the fact that their message clamors for immediate ideals rather than incremental ascension toward perfection.
People lose sight of the fact that the evangelist has not yet been brought into perfection himself—even though he preaches a perfect Christ. The person altering their diet for health reasons will not walk another’s straight and narrow but will find their own path—albeit not in a single day.
Those with a message they wish to share with others are excited about what the message brings to them. They have their own eyes on a goal. They preach to themselves to reach higher, persist longer, stand truer.
A wretched example of godliness can faithfully preach sainthood; the overweight dietician can preach ideal body weight; the weak can preach strength and be credible if they are pressing for the mark they hold out to others.
It would be a poor world indeed if we advocated only for that which we are able to do at the moment and not reach higher. I will tell you now, I do not practice what I preach. I preach perfection and reach for it. I have not yet attained, but I will not be shamed into silence. I am led to reach higher than I shall ever go.
There are those who will tell me this reaching and expectation of attaining an ideal is a recipe for disappointment. That may well be, but for me, it is uncertain. I can say that if I do not try if I sit and watch life go by never reaching beyond my present comfort—I will certainly end in disappointment.
When I am swept away by failure—and it will come—or heartbreak, I want something higher than my thoughts, my hopes, and my strength to lift me up. For when I rise—and I will—I shall be stronger, straighter, truer… more than I have ever been before. May the spirit that lives in me lead me to the rock that is higher than I.