"I sat alone in the dark one night, tuning in by remote,
I found a preacher who spoke of the light, but there was sawdust in his throat,
He'd show me the way, according to him, in return for my personal cheque,
I flipped the channel back to CNN and lit another cigarette.
I take my chances - forgiveness doesn't come with a debt".
Life can so often seem to be about people and circumstances short-changing us. Like the unfortunate couple played by Tom Hanks & Shelley Long in Spielberg's brilliant movie, The Money Pit, we can often find all manner of disappointments and trials because we were promised a golden egg and ended up with a sour lemon! The same, of course, is true when it comes to religion. Everywhere we turn these days, there is a plethora of self-help mentors evoking some alternative 'wisdom' or higher 'understanding' for our predicament - all you need to do is sign up, dig deep (into yourself and... usually your wallet) and a remedy will come...sometime (reminds me of the line in the Money Pit - 'how long till you'll be finished?...'two weeks').
God never leaves us to our own devices. As the one who made us, He knows both the limitations and the pitfalls of schemes by which we are seeking to make our own way out of the hole (including those which like to deny that the 'hole' exists in the first place!). Whilst religion in general is essentially 'self-help', Jesus Christ is the one who comes and says that no self rescue is possible. Looking at the people of His own day who were so burdened under an overwhelming array of rules, Jesus tells them to come to Him, to abandon their self-help, and find true rest in the mercy and care of God.
There is a great deal of 'ego-soothing' religion around, much of it under the guise of Christianity, but God wants us to die to such foolhardy aspirations so we can find real life in Him.
It's time to trade up the tatters of our own self righteousness, which blinds us to our true poverty, so that we might gain a treasure of true freedom we could never purchase ourselves.
Suddenly, the 'two weeks' will be up, and life, whatever our circumstances, will be marked by the richest gift - peace with God.