16 May, 2009

Today will I serve You?

Kat wrote an amazing post this week that stopped me in my tracks. It almost made me cry as I read it at work.

Today could be the best day of my entire life.     ....

Today could be the day my patience overtakes my impatience - for good.

Today could be the day my love for God overcomes my fear of man - finally.

Today could be a day God uses me to change someone's life - forever.

At 5am the day is unknown and exciting. And with all the possibility, how could I do anything but sit with my Father and ask what He'd have me do with this amazing gift?

The more I listen to Him in the quietness of the dawn, the more I'll recognize His voice in the chaos of the day.

So here I am, Lord. I'm listening. Today.

For me I tend to get stuck in the same ruts. I am unkind (again) to someone at work, I am pessimistic and mean when I don't want to be, I am closed off and withdrawn when I want to the enter the conversation... On my own I am these things - my insides are vile and cruel and mean and unwelcoming. My heart is dark and cold. I am not loving, I am not friendly, I do not care about you.

On my own I am these things.

But I am not my own. I am His and through His grace I can be kind, loving, focused on others, and on the world. I become, as I have been called, sunshine and sweetness and joy. But these things only come when I accept I am not my own.

Today could be the day I overcome my cynicism and critical-ness. Today could be the day I speak with love instead of judgment. Today could be the day I do not have one negative thing to say. Today could be, because He is with me. And He will be with me tomorrow when I try to do it all over again. 

Here is another perspective:

Rachel Barkley is dying of terminal cancer. It has entered her bones and possibly her skull. She will be, baring a miracle, dead in less than 100 days. She is married with two kids under seven.

Yet in the midst of a certain painful death, Rachel is choosing to believe. She says that, "Cancer does not define me. Neither does being a wife or a mother. All these things are part of who I am but they do not define me. What defines me is my relationship with Jesus."

While challenging us to know God, know ourselves, know the Gospel and know our purpose - Rachel articulately pulls the focus off her cancer and back onto the Creator. 

It is "when things go array our true view of God is revealed."  What is my view of God? One of the books that changed my entire view of Him is Tozer's Attributes of God. While looking at the major characteristics of God (holiness, wisdom, love, justice, omnipresence to name a few) Tozer reminds us that God is what He is 100% of the time. He is not more or less just/loving/in control based on the situation. He is always everything He is in equal measure. And if I believe that to be true (I do) then my response to Him during trials/pain cannot be to question His character but to look at my faith. For if God is always in control and loving 100% of the time - then Rachel's cancer, or the girls being sold in DC, or a woman trapped in a loveless marriage is not a reflection of God's cruelty (something He is not) but are marks of the Fall and reminders that this world is not it and we should strive to bring heaven here and await its coming with expectant joy.

So how are these things interrelated?

My purpose here (as reminded by Rachel) is to "glorify God and enjoy Him." I do that by serving with JOY. It is only because of Him that I am kind, or loving or want to do anything for anyone else. And when I pull the attention off myself and put it back on Him and serving Him with joy, I daily overcome my anger and cynicism and hear His voice over the chaos of my day.

It is only when it is not about me that it can be about Him.

Watch Rachel's talk, it is well worth the time.

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