“I awake …to the wrestle to get it done, the relentless anxiety that I am failing. …I live tired. Afraid. Anxious. Weary. Years I feel it in the veins, the pulsing of ruptured hopes. Would I ever be enough, find enough, do enough?”
One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp, (pg 17)
For me, Ann (in the quote above) nails it. My life often feels so insignificant. It seems that nearly all of my life is spent in the mundane – doing nothing great or note-worthy: so little that has value or will ever be remembered.
Have you noticed how the news media make such a big deal about every little thing done by celebrities and members of the royal family? If there are big, earth-changing events happening in their lives we certainly hear about it. But most of what we hear and much to-do is made over the minutia – the very things our common, every-day lives consist of.
Is this because all of life is insignificant? Or is it that our lives are significant, but we miss it because we don’t know what makes it so?
The best way to answer this question of the significance of life is to consider the reason people were created in the first place. Was it so that we could become rich and famous? To gain awards or accolades? To have fun and enjoy life? None of these are wrong in themselves, but they are not why we are here.
“He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?”
God wants us to walk with Him! This is not talking about having a get-together with God on Sunday, or of even a more personal meeting each day, as good and important as that is. What He wants is a 24/7 relationship, where every thought and action is chosen based on the recognition that He is present and wants to be a part of our lives. Not religion, but relationship much like with any other person. A lifestyle relationship: not event-driven. Not disrespectful, nor formal. Not a concept, but a tangible reality.
God has always taken the initiative, pursuing relationship with people: He is pursuing me – and you.
“And let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8
“The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst” Zephaniah 3:15
“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people” Psalms 149:4
” I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16
(and many other Scripture passages.)
God does not just tolerate us, He really loves us and wants to hang out with you and me!
Please take a minute and let that sink in.
But how can we live in fellowship with Him if we are not like-minded? All of our friendships are based on shared interests and values – and a relationship with God is no different (Amos 3:3 – “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”). We must think the way He thinks, love what He loves, hate what He hates, and partner with Him in what He is doing. These things don’t come naturally or automatically – they must be learned. We are made in His image, but have been corrupted by sin, so we must learn to be like Him. What we do in this life is important, but what is infinitely more important is who we are, and are becoming.
But this becoming – the whole point of our lives on earth – does not come easily. Even Jesus learned obedience though the things that He suffered (Hebrews 5:7-8) C.S. Lewis had this to say about it: “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”
Indeed, life is a struggle, but there is nothing more exciting, fulfilling, or that can bring more joy than walking and talking with the Creator of the universe – nothing else even comes close. Everything that I should give my life and time to will come out of this practice: if I seek Him first, my life will be have been worthwhile. If not, I will waste it on frivolous pursuits.
So, I’ve been pondering how to walk with the Lord the way I should – it seems that so much is required. Jesus made it simple: not easy, but not complicated. It’s all about focus – on Him: “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2 )
Yes, there are many facets to our lives, and many are important. But Jesus said it this way: “He entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. And she had a sister called Mary, who moreover was listening to the Lord’s word, seated at His feet. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him, and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)
The common term for this weather phenomena is “god beams”. South Rim of the Grand Canyon.