Being a Christian who pursues the Lord as an ongoing theme of life brings with it some difficult obstacles. Pretty quickly, you’ll come to the end of yourself and one of two things will happen:
- You’ll stop.
- You’ll continue.
Coming to the end of yourself means you’ve extended yourself in your pursuit of God as far as you ever have before. In high school, this point was a lot more obvious, because everything was exaggerated back then. Now its a little harder to pinpoint.
Either way though, you’d do one of those two things. Stop (making whatever connection you had with God more of a “camp high” than the beginning of a real lifetime pursuit). Or continue. Continuing is difficult. Here’s why it’s still difficult for me:
I’m set in my ways. We all are. Whoever you are, whatever you do, you’ve got certain things that you hold onto with a pretty tight grip. It doesn’t matter what these things are, it just matters that they exist, and that we acknowledge them.
We are a boulder. Our lives are a boulder. Inside our boulder is everything. Our families, kids, friends, jobs, health, attitude, interests, etc. That boulder sits there until you move it. You are the only person that can move it.
So here’s where the problem comes in:
A fruitful lifetime of pursuing the Lord means that boulder has to move.
We don’t like moving our boulders. It’s hard. And awkward. And too much trouble. We’re too busy to worry with it. We’ve got other things to do. Dancing with the Stars is on.
But God doesn’t seem to care about my interests nearly as much as I do. No matter what they are, God seems to be constantly drawing me away from all my interests - not because they are unworthy pursuits, but it seems like God just wants to see what he can talk me into giving up, simply for the sake of pursuing him instead.
God doesn’t seem to be nearly as interested in what I’m doing instead of pursuing him, just that there’s something else I’m choosing over him.
So that’s the difficulty.
I have things I want to do, and God wants me to clear my entire schedule for him, pretty much everyday.
I’m not necessarily talking about those things you have to do - like going to work, and feeding your cat - although I wouldn’t put it past God to try to talk you out of those things too.
Either way, I’m learning that as I take each step further away from myself, from pursuing my own interests, I find God to be that much more fulfilling, and exciting, and ravishing. This makes me want to get more and more creative in slashing my schedule and dropping interests and pursuing him even more. You see, it’s not just that God wants you to give things up, its that he knows that you will be happier and more fulfilled in life if you spend more time with him - thinking about him, talking about him, walking around with him.
So as you begin to learn these things, you’ll start to trust God more and more. You’ll start to have no regard for television, or Facebook, or video games - which (let’s be honest) is a good thing.
And pretty soon you’ll be free. Totally free from all those things that used to take up all your time. Then it gets challenging again. Then you have to start fixing other odd things in your life. You’ll start drinking less Cokes. You’ll start setting your alarm clock earlier. You’ll start getting outside more. You’ll stop smoking. You’ll drink less alcohol. You’ll start finding creative ways to get alone - riding your bike, taking a long drive in the country, working in the yard - anything just to get some uninterrupted time with Jesus. Praying. Singing. Writing. Thinking. Talking.
The boulder is moving. Things are changing.
But now that I’ve gotten a taste, and everything else has become some pale in comparison to God, I’m finding that I’m running out of things to give up. So what happens next?
We will see.
I just hope I keep choosing to continue when I hit a wall. That’s the other hard part.