May 18, 2014

What's it gonna take?



What's it gonna take?  What do I have to achieve, or live through, or die for, to be someone who the world is not worthy of?  I have accepted the truth that praying to live a life full of miracles means being willing to face distinctly impossible situations that show no hope.  No. Hope.  Hebrews 11:38-40 says that the "heroes of faith" in the Bible were wanderers, living in caves and holes in the ground.  They died merciless deaths and didn't even "receive what had been promised, because God had planned something better for us, so that only together with us would they be made perfect."

Seriously???  They went through all the trials, the struggles, the disappointments, the failures, the beatings, the literally being sawed in two...and they didn't receive their promise because they aren't complete unless I do MY part?  Wow.  No pressure, Danielle, but uh, King David can't receive his promise of being made perfect unless you run your own race to completion.  So, um, "Go Team!"  Wow.

Most days, I'm so caught up in the swarm of my life that I forget that I'm even IN a race, let alone that I am running it, looking for a finish line, preparing for the future, passing a torch, etc.  Add to that the thought that past generations have not only left a legacy for me to continue, but that they also ARE the great cloud of witnesses who stand and cheer me on?!?  Yikes!  That makes me feel...gross.

This message that my pastor presented today has awakened me to the reality of how much time I've wasted.  How much wasted time I've allowed in my family.  I don't know what the robber is in your home, but in ours, it's screens.  We have an addiction, an obsession, a problem.  We own cell phones, Nooks, Kindles, computers, several video game systems, TV's, gameboys, Netflix, Hulu, built in TV in the van...we are never without something luring our eyes and minds into a vegetative state.  I. HATE. IT.  Do you hear me?  HATE.  For heaven's sake, we are a HOMESCHOOL family.  You'd think we'd live half our lives at the local library and have treasured favorite story times every day.  No.  Not happening.  When I think of the precious burden I bear to have even been blessed with a race to run, I feel the deep conviction to realize my priorities and to reroute my family toward the things which are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:18 says "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  This verse is so grounding for me, because I know that we have been sinfully fixed on what is "seen", with an obvious knowledge that it is only temporary and bears no real value on what is eternal.

How much more educated, knowledgeable, skilled and fruitful could I and my family be if so many hours, weeks, months hadn't been wasted by a weakness that was so easy to snag us?  Some things are no brainers to deal with.  I know what has to change at my house...and the odds are good that you know what has to change at yours.  What's it gonna take for you to look upward and look outward to find what's really been missing?  What's the true perspective of your situation?  Not just the part that you can see while you're in the middle of it, but what would your dearest Christian sister be able to see, objectively, as she looks in on your life?  Is she someone who you could actually ASK..."What do you see that I have out of perspective?  What can I change?"  Look for those people.  If you don't have that person in your life yet, pray for God to provide that friend who will be true and honest with you.  And then, respect what that person has to say.  Value that input, reflect on it, and pray about whether it's something that needs to shift in your life.

It's not all gonna be screens that pose the problem.  Maybe it's a relationship that you allow to take the place of God in your life.  It could be a job that you've allowed to be all-consuming, taking it home with you after work and sharing the stress of it with those who live with you.  It might even be a hobby that leaves you with no time to begin new relationships, or to build the ones you already have.

It's important that we figure these things out, because there is a sky full of holy cheerleaders who are screaming your name and urging you to press on.  They did it themselves, they died for the cause of living a life that pleased their Father.  We are on the same team!  You and I have been handed a torch that is well lit and prepared to burn for generations after ours.  We have to be poised and ready.  We have to run as if our lives depended on it, because they do.  What's it gonna take?

Today's Prayer:
Father, I come humbly to you today, declaring that I have wholeheartedly sinned.  I have not been a stranger to the temptations and weaknesses that I have allowed to drag me off course, away from purpose, away from the path you desire to light  for me.  Forgive me.  Restore me.  Thank you for your mercies that are new every morning.  Give me strength and grace to rise up, acknowledge the hurdles, and overcome them as I fight the good fight, with every intention of getting back up and winning my race!  You are so good to me.  I love you.  Amen.

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