Monday, January 27, 2014

Time to Leave Things Behind

Like people running a race,
we must take off every heavy thing.
We must leave behind things
that get in our way and entangle us…
We must keep our eyes on Jesus.
~Hebrews 12:1-2

During this season, God is calling
His sons and daughters together
for the sake of clarifying the course and
adjusting some of our thinking.
He is helping us to think bigger,
which always means thinking more like Him.
First we have to leave behind the
thoughts that get in our way of doing so.

Thinking bigger requires us to think less
about the things that used to define us.
These thoughts involved assessing,
mostly subconsciously,
whether we were valued and significant.
We often determined success by things like
money, friends, position, achievement, power
education, promotion, recognition, status—
even in, maybe especially in, the church.
Our judgments about significance often were
made in light of world system values.

Maybe in strange ways, these values
helped direct us to our callings.
 There was good that came out of those times.
But at some point, we must recognize 
the trappings of living in the world.
When the trappings are embedded so deeply that
we cannot strip off those "things that entangle us,"
God comes in to help us get them off.
Often, God will use something that feels like
a wrecking ball to get our attention.
He doesn’t want to wreck us, however;
He wants to wreck those things that aren’t Him.

The narrow road has been taking on new meaning.
It hasn’t changed any of the old meaning,
but it is meaning more now.
I have been on the narrow road for many years
and yet every day I begin the journey again.
Every day, I am on both sides of the gateway,
on the inside knowing I am His and 
that He is ever with me and
on the outside wanting to begin again
that I might know Him more.
There are days I am afraid that
I won’t find Him in the depths I desire.
My mind wanders, my heart fears,
my emotions hold me back.
This stripped down version of myself
wonders if I can do this.
He whispers once again that He is with me.

Whatever my thoughts of God are today,
He is infinitely more than I can imagine.
So my desire today is to move closer,
to hear more intentionally,
to see more vividly
and know more practically.
Jesus, be the absolute center of my life.
That I may be one with you.

Infinite love made our hearts in such a way
that only an infinite union with infinite love will do
~St John of the Cross

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