Today in church our pastor (in discussing 1Thessalonians) was talking about the hope we have as Christians. The comparison between secular hope and Godly hope. He used a good illustration.
Hope in secular things–material things, relationships, careers, health, the stock market, etc.–goes up and down like waves in the ocean. If you’re on a ship and the storms of life cause those waves to get kinda drastic, looking down at them, focusing on what’s immediately around you…it makes you sick. You throw up.
Hope that we have in Christ is like looking at the horizon. Knowing that greater days are yet to come (and that’s when we die and our souls meet up with Jesus for the sweetest communion there ever was), and not faltering or wavering in the hope of the promise he has made us, we have a steadier outlook…not puking.
It was more eloquent the way he said it. I just didn’t want to forget it altogether, because the idea can be applied to even less weighty things (not unlike don’t sweat the small stuff). In the scheme of a semester in college, a couple weeks are really, really “bad”. Lots of work, lots of pressure, lots of awake hours. Having a poor performance in one assignment is perhaps permissable, but if it happens more than once, I get worried–worried sick. Rather I could take it as a bigger semester-long perspective…some rough spots in the middle, but a lot of learning all the way around.
I’m not eloquent.
K and I were treated to lunch today. That was a blessing and a surprise. And I find that I am quite, quite without manners. What does one say? Even thank you sounded inadequate. And then my thinking shifts to the gift my creator has given me. He didn’t pay for my plate of linguine alla marinara–he paid for my life. He paid for my sins and my shortcomings. He has accepted me lovingly, freely, and warmly. He has knocked on the door of my heart and waited for me. What thanks could I convey? This makes me realize that living the “good” life of the Christian (adhering to Old Testament statutes or otherwise) comes from a response to grace. How can I live that good life without feeling like I’m earning my salvation or proving my allegience? It’s a habit, you see. So I must commit myself and my actions to the Lord without expecting notice or human approval. My soul should delight in living for his Glory and that alone.
And so my challenge for the week…the rest of my life.