Today I am sharing with you my first guest post on Passion – Refresh – Calm. This post is by Chris of “essentialjesus: loveGod loveWife loveKids loveLife”. He is both a talented writer and speaker. I hope you are as refreshed by this post as I was!
Hello Again, It’s Been Too Long
I had the opportunity to meet with an old friend again the other day. Life had seemed to get in the way of our encounters. It’s not that I wanted to distance myself. Yet the daily routine drug me away into this state of existence that is driven by the details of the day. The mad dash mornings, getting my 5 year old on the bus. The chaotic work schedule, driving all over this great state meeting with customers. The frantic meals, getting everybody to eat something. The bed time routine, marking the end of the day is near. At the end of it all, two parents too exhausted to do much else.
Can anyone else relate?
It is amazing how we allow that little things of life to dictate our days. The very things we need to do on a daily basis take us away from meaningful relationships in our lives. Friends that live just miles away, go months in between interactions. Passions that drive our being, are pushed aside in the name of surviving the day to day. It’s like my days are a series of brush fires that I’m scrambling to fight before it destroys the day. By the time the day is done, all I have left is the ability to mindlessly get through another level of Candy Crush.
Is anyone else feeling like the cart is pulling the horse?
What would my life look like if I were to stop fighting fires every day and start teaching fire prevention?
I think I’m starting to realize, again, that for me, if I allow this daily routine to take me away from the experiences that drive my passion, I am reduced to nothing more than a lifeless shell of myself. It is when the day to day needs begin to take over control of my life that I find myself losing hope and despair. (This is not a first time realization for me either.) I forget what I was created to do. I forget who I was created for. I forget what it is like to abide.
: to accept or bear
: to stay or live somewhere
: to remain or continue
Jesus, in one of his last times of teaching with the disciples knew that it was going to be crucial for them to abide. In fact, He uses the word 7 times in John 15.
Abide in me (15:4)
Abide in me and bear fruit (15:5)
If you don’t Abide, you won’t (15:6)
Abide in me, and I’ll hook you up (15:7)
Abide in my love (15:9)
Doing what I told you is how to abide (15:10)
Teach others to abide in me (15:16)
My guess is that Jesus, as he was about to go to the cross knew what he was talking about! There is a reason He was so emphatic about this. He knew that is was going to be easy not to abide in Him. Not 24 hours after Jesus spoke these words, most of His disciples had scattered and Peter had denied Him 3 times! I’m pretty sure even the disciples didn’t get this right the first time.
Yet as time went on, they saw Jesus raised from the dead. They watched Him ascend to heaven. They received the Holy Spirit. They saw thousands commit their lives to Christ. They began to understand and to model what it means to abide. In fact, John implores us 19 times in 1 & 2 John with a charge to abide in Christ.
It is so encouraging to me that the disciples didn’t get it right away. It is easy for me, especially seeing I have spent my entire life in faith communities, to get down on myself in those seasons when I have not prioritized my faith as I should. It is easy for me to feel guilty when I’ve allowed the day to day to choke out any time with my loving Savior. It is easy for me to succumb to this shame and hide this shame from others, perpetuating a front that is closer to lip service than a vibrant, thriving, abiding love relationship with Jesus.
I am not the only one ever to struggle with this!
Yet thanks be to God that He has yet to and will not give up on me! His loving arms are still waiting for me, encouraging me, and waiting to guide me as I begin again my journey to abide with Him.
Hello, again, old friend! It’s been way too long!
Find more of Chris’s writings here: http://essentialjesus.wordpress.com