Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Far Far Better things

Gratitude Year 4 - Day 117: Today, I am grateful for "far, far better things ahead."

A C.S. Lewis is a great way to start the day. This is the promise of God breathed scripture, yet I fight to hold on to yesterday and put far to much burden on today. I cling to the temporary when the eternal is our promise and our assurance. As believers Jesus, we can know God keeps his promises. 

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind. - CS Lewis

Lately... it seems... I have been reminded often of the temporary and instantly changing circumstances of this world. As good stewards of what we have been given, it is good and right to plan and make wise choices. Absolutely! But, perhaps there are times to throw off the ropes that hold us safe in the harbor and set the ship to sail...full speed ahead. 

I love the energy of youth. They are so full of energy. For them, trying new things is not so scary. In fact, it energizes them. They don't have a regiment that must be followed and a change does not throw them completely for a loop. In fact, they tend to enjoy the adventure of mixing it up. 

Our Jesus...his call...it is typically going to "mix it up" a little. In his creative image...we have a need to do new things. It keeps us young. It keeps us growing.  It keeps us trusting. It is hard to grow us when we fight him every step of the way for the steering wheel. 

"Who's driving the bus?"  In our world, we have used this phrase  in conversation for years. It is intended to help us define who is in charge of any given situation. Sometimes, we can be more flexible when we have a clear understanding of who is leading...and who is not in charge. 

Oh, my little world is my universe, but our God has a real universe to manage. My universe = tiny. His Universe = infinity and beyond. 

This means that there are times he calls us from the safety of the shore and leads us into deep, rough, scary waters. Do my prayers take into account his big picture purposes? Do I submit my plans before him as an offering...asking for guidance, strength and His direction? Do I have to answer my own questions publicly? You, likely know the answer without my open confession...and so does He.

This scripture goes so well with this CS Lewis quote:

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." - Romans 12:1-2

This is a powerful verse for those ready to leave the safety of the shore.  Am I ready? Ha!  I do like to spend time preparing and "packing my bag".  But Jesus said., "Come." "Follow me." If you have to think about it and prepare...don't bother. The rich young man in Matthew 19 couldn't do it:

16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

We can't get in by being "good" or not "too bad".  We can't donate our way into heaven. We must love God with our whole hearts and express that love by keeping his commandments.  We must love our neighbors as ourselves...all of our neighbors, not just the ones we like. 

I think that to fulfill these commandments of Jesus...the time will come... when we have to "leave the shore" of safety and step out in faith. It will likely be a wild ride! Following Jesus is not "safe"...and it is not boring! 

Gear up for adventure. We can set our ships to sail. 

Today, I am grateful for "far, far better things ahead." 

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