All We Have to Do

Its about Time Series III’m always busy, always overwhelmed with what I have to do.  I can’t seem to sit still. I spent much of my life being busy, looking busy, feeling busy inside.  I remember quite clearly that this stems from a father that you didn’t want to catch you not busy, in case he found something for you to do.  Dad would come home in the evening and we would all scatter like leaves, spending much of our time outside or in our rooms.

Later when I got married at 17, at the insistence of my parents, to a man eight years older than I was the feeling didn’t go away.  Three months after the wedding day I conceived and within the year I had my first child, within four I had my third.  The struggle to please and look busy was replaced by necessity.  Active in church to the point of feeling like a full-time job I added God to my list of men I had to be busy to please.  Now, over 30 years and 6 children later, I find that it has become a horrible habit I can’t shake, sometimes to the point of exhaustion.

Sitting in church Sunday I hear this phrase and it rocks my world; We are saved, not by any works of our own, but by grace.  So I’ve been spinning my wheels all this time, never feeling good enough, never “doing enough” and all this time the ride was paid for?

I sit there stunned. I know I knew this but I guess I never internalized it.  Somehow I’d missed the implications of the gift. I had spent some of that busy time feeling obligation, guilt, frustration and loss, and believing that by my good works God would find me good enough to love, to bless, to invite into heaven.  It frustrates me and I am a bit angry for having gave up my time and my life in that way.

Then I suddenly feel a kind of satisfaction as I contemplate the implications…there were also times that I spent my life being busy for the right reasons; the love of my family, the concern for a friend, the comfort of a pet.  I know these were my gift to God and colleagues in this life because it was never expected.  All I had to do was have faith.

I realize that all I have to do is not on my to-do list.  It’s the decision I make, when I wake up in the morning each day, to believe.

Open the Door!

(c)2010 Waltzingon Photography
(c)2010 Waltzingon Photography

Before he died Jesus said that if he didn’t go away then “the advocate will not come..but if I go I will send him…” (John 16:7). Did that mean there was some sort of process that had stages to it? Like first, send a teacher (Let them understand Me better). Second, create a Savior (…for them to believe in and gain life). Third, resurrect him and bring him home again (Let’s show it can and will be done). Fourth, send the Spirit (…to prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment – John 16:8).

Sounds like a plan to me.

Then does that mean that by being here with us Jesus had to finish the steps in order for God to set up the process? Can you even imagine trying to set that up? Let’s see, I’ll send someone who is strong enough to be as perfect as man can be, as sinless, as loving, as kind, and as ready to love all my other children as I am myself…to represent me on earth. Jesus did say if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the father so that makes sense. Then God had to think that when the relationship is formed, with disciples and believers and others taught to share what had been taught, then this man will also have to be willing to pay the price for sin (as I would’ve done myself for them) and be resurrected after death.

Doesn’t that make you humble that someone was up to that task? Doesn’t it awe you a little that someone could so accurately represent God himself?  Doesn’t it amaze you that Jesus did such a good job at this that we can still feel that love today even when he is not physically with us? We feel that love that God has for us (and was able to send through a representative) during the most interesting moments; a prayer, or an insight, or by serving each other.  Isn’t it incredible that Jesus was able to pull that off so well?

I used to resent that Christians would say that Jesus was the only way to God. I don’t want to think that I can’t just go to God directly.  I resented the thought that there’s some door between us I have to go through first. But what if Jesus isn’t the door between us and our relationship with God at all but the key to open it? What if Jesus isn’t standing in the way at all but opening up all the doors, one after the other, until we have a straight shot to God?

Now that’s amazing.

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