As long as I live there will be something worth fighting for, worth writing for, and worth dying for.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

...and follow me

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23

We humans love planning.

We want to take the most direct and the shortest distance from point A to point B. No sightseeing, no rabbit trails.

In high school, we are encouraged to developed five-year plans, ten-year plans and retirement plans.

They call it 'being resourceful' to set a course and stick with it.

What happened to following God?

When Jesus called His disciples, He didn't say, "I want you to do this, this, this, this and this. We are going to go here, here and then here. I'm going to use you to change to world. People are going to hate you. Then you'll do this and this..." He simply said, "Follow me."

I think planning is great. I think it is wise, and I think it is Biblical. However, too much planning or exclusive planning (charting a course and pursuing it at the forsaking of consideration of detour) may just be unBiblical.

God doesn't give us a ten-year plan. He has it; He just doesn't choose to share it with us. I can have goals, but I can, in no way, shape or form tell you exactly where I am going to be and what I am going to be up to ten years from now. Some people spend their lives worrying about that. The only thing I know for sure is now.

Eventually could God call me overseas? Certainly. All I know is now.

I read this prayer in a devotional once. For the life of me, I can't remember where:

Slow me down, Lord. Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind. Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time. Give me, amid the confusion of the day, the calmness of the everlasting hills. Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the singing streams that live in my memory. Teach me the art of taking minute vacations-- of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to smile at a child, to read a few lines from a good book. Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life's enduring values, that I may grow toward my greater destiny. Remind me each day that the race is not always to the swift; that there is more to life than increasing its speed. Let me look upward to the towering oak and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well.

We get so caught up in planning tomorrow, that we forget about today. We set goals for the starting block instead of the finish line. "Oh, when I get married..." "Oh, when I graduate school..." "When I have the money." "When I have the time." You are never promised any of that. Maybe it's time you start living now.

I'm not talking about the 'eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die' life. That isn't for the child of God. I am talking about waking up every morning and finding ways to make today count. How do we do that? We make sure our focus is on Christ, not us. We have to 'deny ourselves' and follow Him; follow Him wherever He leads us. When our lives are lived with glorifying God as our focus, then every day is a chance to live a fulfilled life.

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