I have heard that there is a monastery in Greece perched high on a cliff, several hundred feet in the air. The only way to reach the monastery is to be suspended in a basket which is pulled to the top by several monks who pull and tug with all their strength. Obviously, the ride up the steep cliff in that basket is terrifying.

One tourist got exceedingly nervous about half-way up as he noticed that the rope by which he was suspended was old and frayed. With a trembling voice, he asked the monk who was riding with him in the basket how often they changed the rope.

The monk thought for a moment and answered serenely, "Whenever it breaks."

We are shocked that someone would wait that long before changing the rope. It only makes sense that the rope ought to be changed long before reaching that point. But, it dawned on me that God operates the same way in our lives. If we were to ask God when He will change our lives, His answer might well be, "Whenever you break!"

You see, our lives can only change once we have what the Bible refers to as a "broken and contrite spirit." As long as we remain arrogant and determined to do things our way, God can't shape us and mold us. Like a wild stallion, we remain useless until we are "broken."

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted ... (Psalm 34:18 NIV). ... a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise (Psalm 51:17 NIV).

Help me as I strive to have a broken spirit.
Father, I so often want to do things my own stubborn way. Help me as I strive to have a broken spirit, recognizing my shortcomings while humbly and willingly listening to Your instruction. In Jesus' name. Amen.