This is another reboot from the archives. The move went off without a hitch so far. We are unpacking boxes and fitting our life into the new, considerably smaller but strategically located house. Hopefully by Monday I will be back to regularly scheduled programming.
You know I’m a pretty good guy. I don’t have any baby seal slippers, I have planted trees before and I give to charities. I don’t kick the dog that much or shoplift large ticket items. I try to stop by as many church and high school car washes as I can. I bought as many donuts and dinners as my wallet could handle. I even remember closing my eyes and bowing my head and repeating after______, that I was inviting Christ into my life. In fact, I did that several times. Why gamble?
I got saved at least once or twice a year at youth camp and winter retreat. So if I am so good why do I have this terribly guilty conscience? I go this one thing that just haunts me. I am weighted down by my shortcoming and I must confess it. I have thought it through and surveyed it from every angle. I have invalidated it and marginalized it. In the end it’s just the way I feel and I want to get it off my chest. OK here it goes……………
There I said it and, whew!, I feel–Wait a minute–I don’t feel better. Here’s the deal. If they would have just kept it between the ditches and not stirred up trouble we would still be kickin’ it with G-O-D daily in the coolness. AAAAAAAHHH! Are you serious? Just don’t eat the fruit and I wouldn’t be here trying to figure out how to get back to Him. I wouldn’t be justifying my life at every turn. What, 25,000 other options aren’t enough Eve? You have to have that one?
I know what you evangelist types are thinking; “Just be like Jesus.” Listen, if it were that easy to just be like HIM, then I wouldn’t need Him to help me do it. If the lifestyle Jesus brought to the table is as easy as ask Him in your heart, and then live like however, then why did He come? That cheapens the Gospel a bit don’t you think? If it’s as easy as Matthew 22:37-40 (Love God, and love your neighbor), then why did He come? I can do those things, more or less. I guess.
The problem I have is that there is this whole list of things I despise. Many of them make me look like a complete jerk, but as sick as it sounds, I do them anyway. It’s like when you pass a horrific wreck on the interstate and you can tell well before you get close that it is gruesome. What do you do? You stare at it anyway knowing it will give you nightmares. It’s like picking at a scab that you know will hurt. Then it does hurt and you do it again. All the while this is going on there is the other list.
The real good that I could be doing but I don’t have time for because I’m knocking home runs on the bad list.. You know, loving my neighbor and feeding the poor. Collecting and burning copies of the Twilight series. Going over to some widow’s house and playing handyman. I should be working on loving God with all of my being. Or maybe meditating, or worshipping or praying or giving or leading someone else to Him. Romans 7:19-20
Ah, now I see, that’s why He came. I can’t pull this off by myself. I have to be immersed in HIM. I read the other day where someone gave their opinion of what the Gospel is, and it goes like this:
The Gospel is Jesus inviting us into His life, not us inviting Him into ours.
For me I will go one step further and say, if we are to take up our cross and die daily, then we should invite Him into our death. So stand to your feet. Bow your heads and close your eyes (nobody looking around) and repeat after me.
Dear Jesus, I don’t want to invite you into my heart ‘cause it’s busted up and stank. I am freakishly bad at trying to fill your space with other second-rate garbage. What I can do is kill my self-will every day and offer me to you as a living sacrifice and trust that you will invite me into your life so you can live through me here. Great! Thanks so much.
What’s the hardest part of getting out of Jesus’ way? How can we “die daily”?