Tuesday, October 21, 2008

frustration

So many songs that we sing and listen to regarding the way of the Lord characterize this walk as one that is full of comfort and joy. They tell us that no matter what, the Lord has us and we leave those moments filled with the idea that a true walk with the Lord is one where the pilgrim feels assured and satisfied, and to a point, that is true. The satisfaction and fulfillment that is experienced in the Christian life is unmatched.

However, that does not mean that every moment with the Lord is easy. Life isn’t easy. There are hurdles, challenges and uncertainty. There is temptation and challenges and we fall. The good Christian life is not one of exercised blamelessness but rather of constant repentance.

The difference between the Christian life and the secular one is truly at the beginning and the end. We begin our Christian lives in the light of the cross and the fact that no matter what we go through, no matter what challenges or hardships, we live in the shadow of the cross, the ultimate sacrifice. This fact pushes us to continue even though giving up seems like a better option.

At the end of our walk, we have hope. We don’t toil for no reason but rather live in the fact that we have this eternal treasure waiting for us in heaven. We are propelled forward in pursuit of this. In exchanged for this glorious hope we are asked to patiently endure every challenge that is brought our way.

However, these things are part of a constant struggle to keep on with this commitment. In the midst of our failures and our pain we need to find those moments where we reach out to the things that we are supposed to keep on. We pick ourselves up and we keep on going.

We have to.

Friday, October 10, 2008

so many times we fail

It’s a really great thing when you can look back and realized that you have been faithful to your walk with the Lord for a certain period of time. For the last year my goal has been faithfulness and devotion, and I have tried to keep myself in check in those things regarding my walk with God.

However, after a certain period of time, you get so comfortable in your walk, and get so used to staying in the right that you forget how easy it is for us, as humans, to fall. You get smug. You think, “hey, I’m not too bad at this, I probably could go it alone!” and then suddenly something happens and you realize how easy it is for us, as humans to fall.

The temptations for sin are all around us. Its na├»ve to think that these things don’t exist or that they aren’t always waiting for us to have a moment of weakness. Even the good things in life can be turned bad depending on our lack of reliance on God and our remembrance of the place that He has in our lives and the lives that we are supposed to live.

This uncertainty and fear seems counterintuitive to the solace and peace that we are supposed to receive as children of God, but I beg to differ. The very basis of our faith is the fact that we indeed our sinners and that God has been gracious to us. We are sinners saved by faith, and no matter what are deeds are, good or bad, that will not change. This truth is one of the most beautiful tenets of our faith!

However, the shame and guilt that comes with sin are things that seem to want to pull us away from God. The overwhelming feeling that we have failed, that we have again shown imperfection brings the sinner to feel unworthy of receiving the great things that God has in store for them.

We forget that the Christian life is one of cultivating perseverance, and that the sin itself, while perhaps a terrible blemish, is not the thing that will keep us from God. God has already taken care of the sin! We need to pray yes, that God will forgive our sins, but also that He gives us the strength to keep on walking and that when we fall we remember that the Lord, in His loving kindness, is there to pick us up. Apart from Him, we falter.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

look alive.

Focus. I seem to write about focus a lot, and for 2 reasons. Firstly, I believe that focus is one of the most important things that a Christian should have. It is really easy to get distracted and sidetracked by all the busyness in life to the point where we lose our focus. Secondly, I believe focus is something that, unless fastidious about, I severely lack.

I am one of those people who can get completely caught up in things that are new or shiny. I enjoy the thrill of things that are new, and usually things that are new tend to take up more of my thoughts.

However, in order to be faithful, fruitful Christian, we have to keep on our eyes on the prize. This is easier when you’re life is lacking in other objects to take our focus, however, what happens when suddenly your life fills up with other things that demand your time and attention?

This isn’t about neglecting everything else in our lives for things that we think are look “holy”, but rather about shifting the focus and directionality of everything in our lives so that they are constantly being centered on Christ, because God praises those who are good stewards of what has been entrusted to them. Oftentimes we eschew these things because we think that they are too small to be noticed. Yes, many tasks are so small that they will never be noticed and appreciated by man, but we have to ask ourselves, is that the goal? Is that the purpose of anything we do? Even if it is, it shouldn’t be. We forget that we are running a race.

Races are not hard. You get tired. You want to quit, but something keeps on telling you to keep going. To push it. To go all out. You only get to run this race once you you’d better give it all you’ve got.

Look alive!