Friday, April 1, 2011

When Does It Matter?

Well, 'Tis the season for reflections on Lent, Easter & on what Jesus set in motion.

I have thought often about the night in the Garden of Gethsemane. I understand the disciples falling asleep. I have at least some grasp on the idea that Jesus was very badly stressed. I believe that he was probably scared. All these things I can understand and relate to; they reflect my humanity very well. What I struggle with and marvel at, time and again is the conclusion that Jesus came to. Deeply stressed and horribly frightened he says: "not my will, but yours be done."

That sentence changed history. That sentence is still changing history.

"Not *my* will, but yours" is the meaning of following Jesus Christ. If you want his name, the relationship with him; if you want to be a follower or a disciple then that phrase must be your theme as well.

We think of Jesus saying that in an adrenaline pumping scenario where all history and the world is at stake. I think to myself, perhaps I could rise to that occasion as well. When all of history is hanging on my choice, when all humanity is watching, maybe I could occupy the hero's seat.

But the truth is that question must have been asked and answered throughout Jesus' life repeatedly. He must have answered it when no one was watching, when nothing seemed to be on the line. That question must have been the baseline in deciding his weekly schedule & priorities. That question must be have guided him in his spending choices. That question must have been so familiar to him that it was an everyday event.

For me when I get highly motivated I think to myself, perhaps I could risk my life, perhaps I could die for "that" (all that God stuff) in a moment of intense emotion, devotion and adrenaline. What I do not like to do is live everyday like that. Give me a moment of glory but not a lifetime of mundane interactions.

Is the call really supposed to make me continually think about things (everything) not first from my own perspective? Should it manifest in all areas of my life?

If yes, then that would necessarily, fundamentally change my life and the living of it.

YES! That's it exactly! A fundamental shift in all of my living.

So when making choices about where I live, who I date, when I go on vacation, when I sacrifice, what I call sacrifice, why I do what I do, all must change to follow the Jesus practice: not my will, but yours be done.

That will cause inconvenience. Yes.
That might bring about sacrifice. Yes.
I might have to change some of my personal plans. Yes.
I might have to think about my priorities and what comes first. Yes.
Maybe my service to God is of central importance and not just a set of happy coincidences when I am not too busy. Yes.

Prepare for this Easter by considering Lent more closely. What if I gave my will up and replaced it with God's, what would that look like?

Not my will, but yours be done.

Don't Give Up!

- g-ram

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