Thursday, September 3, 2009

He'll take care of the rest

This morning it was difficult to get out of bed. I could hear the plink, plink, plink of raindrops falling outside my window, and it was clear that the sun had already decided against waking up. Precedent had been set, so I had a choice to make.

Well of course I got out of bed. But why was it so hard in the first place? Usually it's not a big deal, but today was just one of those days. Maybe it's the fact that I had a hard time falling asleep last night. It's usually not very hard for me to fall asleep, especially after long days at school and at the library studying. But last night my body and mind couldn't get on the same page, and as a result my mind raced right on by as my body called out for sleep.

I was thinking about something that is very simple to say, but is so nuanced once you start thinking about it and going deeper. I was thinking about this question: what does my life say? What is the message that my life is speaking? Is it a unified message, or is a discordant cacophony of mixed messages?

I want my life to speak of Jesus Christ. In all my life, every aspect, I want to point to Christ. It seems so simple, and in a way, it really is: look to Christ, continually, submitting to Him and obeying Him each moment of the day. But therein lies the difficulty. My selfishness wages war against this lifestyle of submission and obedience, and more often than not wins out. It's in the little things, the seemingly small and meaningless decisions of the day that the battle is won or lost. What I choose to think about when no one is around. What my heart holds dear and longs for.

Being a good person on the outside is not the goal. It's too demanding, and there is no fulfillment, because fulfilling the self with more self is like pouring water into a bottomless jar. I was not designed for moralism divorced from Christ. I was designed for Christ, for direct intimacy with Him, which produces the fruit that other people see.

So it comes back to the small, daily decisions, which no one but God sees. These are the crucibles where I grow, where I learn the way of faith through obedience and submission to Christ. I may not understand why it is so difficult, volitionally, to choose against seemingly innocuous things, but in my heart I know what the Lord requires of me.

It's not that playing the xbox is wrong, or watching television, or surfing through my favorite websites, even. It's not that these things in and of themselves are wrong, it is the wisdom of knowing what place they have in my day. The battle is not so much against the things I know are wrong, clearly wrong, but it's against the things that really are not bad in and of themselves, but which push me towards mediocrity, laziness, and complacency.

I need rest. I need time to relax and just hang loose. But wisdom is knowing when I need to drop those things and sit a while with Christ, resting before Him and letting Him breathe His Word and Spirit into me afresh. Daily submission and obedience to Him, even when I don't feel like it, and even when I don't even think I need it.

So what is my life saying? Well, I'll try to follow the advice of Jesus himself: "seek first the kingdom of God". And, as Keith Green liked to say, "he'll take care of the rest".

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