Life, as a concept is much like a real human being. Blood and bone and muscles… gooey organs packed into a flesh container. It seems pretty precarious and complicated – how it functions, grows and then deteriorates. And so many things effect its processes.
There are positive equations- exercise, vegetables, sunshine, sleep. Friendship, hugs, worship of God, rest.
And negative, too- laziness, sugar, drugs, insomnia. Enemies, loneliness, self-centeredness, distraction.
We think if we just do enough of those positive things to tip the scales then life and body should be good. But there are always factors outside of our control.
And where does “inner peace” come from? Do you experience it? I know that I do and sometimes the distance between inner war and inner peace is merely shifting my focus. Sometimes it’s a matter of doing battle against whatever is coming against the peace. Sometimes I have to do battle with myself.
Where am I going with all of these random thoughts?…
I’ve been thinking lately about the things that make up a person- people that choose to follow God, those that choose to follow themselves, people who seem hardwired to selfishness and those who seem to gravitate toward selflessness. You might think everyone starts with the same tools and parts and outside influences direct them. Or maybe you see the diversity of our situations and you think some people have it easier, some people are equipped with more, some less.
I haven’t figured it all out, I’m just talking. I can’t experience life as anyone other than who I am… except that Paul says I can die with Jesus and be raised with Him and therefore live His life instead of my own. That’s pretty interesting, right? If you don’t know Jesus that well you might find that idea boring or even abhorrent. But if you know Jesus at all, you know how glorious it would be to live His life. Even with the rejection and pain involved, His life is the one I envy. Not because He is God and powerful, but because He didn’t war inside. He lived to God. He loved everyone and was always honest. He healed people, He saw people. He followed through with the hardest, but most rewarding sacrifice and He conquered death. Who can say that but Him?
In a culture of instant gratification Christianity is difficult. There is no perfect equation or method for finding God, for changing, for living a good life. Lately the only things I see as common threads are 1. realizing that your actions aren’t going to impact God’s love for you, good or bad and 2. Those who seem to “go far” with God are those who are whole-hearted. I’ve mentioned this idea before concerning Paul. If you think about some of the people in the Bible who God spoke to or through, except for Jesus they were all messy sinners. Abraham lied to kings about his wife, that she was his sister, because he was afraid. David totally ignored the fact that his son raped his daughter. Paul murdered Christians. Jacob manipulated his brother out of his birthright…. I mean, the list is long. If you know me, you probably know what I add to that list of messy…
But like them, will I be whole hearted for God?
Will you be? What do you prize most? What kind of life do you hope to live? Are you willing to let go of instant fixes and persevere, give your whole heart and keep giving it?
What does whole hearted look like to you?