Last week my wife and I were talking about a tough time our family was going through. In a moment of brutal honesty, she stated, “Spiritually I’m a wiener.” I totally understood what she meant. In my walk with the Lord I want to be a person who faithfully trusts God, who perseveres in trial, and lives a life of unswerving excellence and godliness in spite of whatever challenges and stresses I face. I want to be someone my kids look up to and say, “Daddy trusts and walks with God no matter what.” In hot dog terms I want to be the premium quality sausages at the grocery store which costs the most money; the kind you have to ask the butcher for specifically. “Yes sir, can I have the Travis Sausage, please? We’re having a very special event and I only want the best.”
Instead I find, more often than not, I’m the store brand wieners on the bottom shelf which are definitely not kosher and which they sell in bulk for carnival folks to sell for 50 cents at the state fair. Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Wiener, for that is what I’d truly like to be, but spiritually I find I’m a class D hot dog. In times of crisis, I doubt God and his goodness. When I’m weary I lose perspective and trust in God’s sovereignty. When I don’t get my way, I worry and pout and cry like the world is coming to an end. I want to be incredible, but any difficulty reveals the simple truth. I. AM. A. WIENER.
However, maybe there’s some freedom in admitting it. Maybe honestly confessing our wienerness, (totally made up that word), is the first step in becoming more like the godly sausage we all want to be. We could even have meetings together where we all confess our problems. We could call it “W.A”, or Wieners Anonymous.
Me: “Hello, my name is Travis and I’m a spiritual wiener.”
Wieners Anonymous: “Hi Travis.”
Maybe there’s hope in admitting we have a problem. Maybe there’s hope in confessing our brokenness and weakness. Maybe it’s a good thing to admit we’re not the spiritual sausages we all hoped we would be. Jesus told his disciples if they didn’t come to him as little children then they couldn’t come to him at all, (Mark 10:13-16). Children in Christ’s day had no status, no privilege, and no power. (Remind you of yourself?). The man in Jesus’ parable who humbly prayed, “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner,” was the one who went away justified, not the Pharisee who stood before God in pride, (Luke 18:9-14). The apostle Paul found it was in his weakness where Christ’s power could be perfected, (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). So maybe being honest before God in our weak, pitiful, and sinful state, is not a bad thing. Maybe honestly confessing that we’re not the hot dogs we hoped we’d be is the first step towards change and transformation.
The apostle Paul told the Corinthians, “But we have this power in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us,” (2 Corinthians 4:7). I’m not the hot dog I hoped I would be, spiritually speaking. I don’t walk in faith and godliness through stress and difficulty. I find even my best days are tainted by my own selfishness, idolatry, and anger. I’m a wiener. But I carry within me the grace, strength, and glory of Jesus. “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me,” (Galatians 2:20). I know I’m a weak vessel and barely hold it together sometimes, but by honestly confessing my sorry state, Jesus somehow transforms me and reveals his glory to the world around me. Hallelujah.
So acknowledge your wiener state. Hot dogs who think they are something won’t get kind words from God.
P.S. Did I intentionally try to say “wiener” as much as possible in this article? You betcha. Wouldn’t you?