Why do we have a tough time with living the Christian life? To selling out? It’s not because what it leads us to do is too grand…
Rather, it’s too simple. It catches us in the simple moments of life and gives application, and for some reason our sin nature BEGS us to ignore the reality of an everyday moment.
How many of us feel like most days we’re simply going through the motions? And though we don’t really like feeling that way, what’s keeping us from focussing on, engaging with, our everyday reality?
Focussing on the simple, day-to-day next moment means character building. It’s putting the stuff of us on the table to observe. What is love requiring of us? Is it really best to grab that phone and scroll or is there someone or something else needing our attention…. the simple seems like an endless process of GIVE, pour out, serve, fight your natural tendencies (your flesh), take the test, see what you’re made of... and we simply don’t want to fool with it.
So we kick our hearts into auto-pilot and just coast. We’re more comfortable keeping all of our Christianity in theory and saving it for the “big moments”, when really it’s as simple as turning to God for the strength to take on what we see as monotony, but what he sees as kingdom building.
I think he may care more, in some situations-- at least in my life-- that I kill the flesh and give my next moment to him in love, rather than that time I stepped up to the call to go to a third world country to partner in ministry. That call was exciting, new, big, above me. It was easier than the times in Smalltown, USA where he teaches me the hard lessons of real selflessness & discipline.
We can’t save our Christianity for the big moments. That’s building a house on sand. We’ll have nothing for a foundation when the waves come, and we’ll crumble.
We also have to realize that our hard little moments are teaching us an invaluable lesson: we can’t do it on our own.
Try to take a normal day and live it perfectly. Sometimes I have those days where I’ve checked every box, gotten up early, did my tasks, loved on some people, treated my body as the temple it is… and I go to bed feeling like I nailed it. But guess what? I wake up the next day, and there are more clothes in my laundry basket, the bed needs to be made again, I have to choose to eat healthy and work out, new things are demanding my attention, and I get no points for doing it all well the day before. New day: new demands. Defeat comes calling before I even brush my teeth. And we’re just talking about the essentials of living, much less living awake to our soul’s identity in Christ.
So what do I see from all of this? I need something, Someone, to give me the strength it takes to even do the simple every day of life. THIS IS THE BEST PLACE WE CAN BE. If I can’t do it, I have two choices: go numb, or look for someone who can. I can go through the motions, or I can start to engage my God who’s given me relationship with him in Christ, to put to work my faith, let the Holy Spirit kick into gear, and see how this imperfect person is equipped to do the next simple thing, and then the next one after that.
It'll probably hurt. But it’s not hopeless. Gosh, it can be gut-wrenching. As I write, I have lots to do, save loving people in the process, and it’s overwhelming. But this has got to be a good place. It’s the foundation-build. It’s the place I choose Rock or sand. As I enter into 2018, this is my desire. As I get to travel and be a part of people's best day, I also want to learn to savor the everyday right here at home. I want to engage with the monotony with open eyes, to learn the truer flow of sanctification & rest, rather than numbness. I want Jesus in those little moments, so he can build me up on him.