I had not noticed how the humblest, and at the same time most balanced and capacious minds praised most, while the cranks, misfits and malcontents praised least. –C.S. Lewis
There comes a moment when you have to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. – Mark Batterson from Chase the Lion
The nights are cooler. Football practice is underway. Swimsuits are on clearance and backpacks are full price. It’s certainly feeling like fall is starting to make an appearance… ready or not! Looking back on your summer what would you say you enjoyed most?
*Family time together
*A thrilling adventure
*More time to rest and relax
When we look at those things we enjoy most they can most likely be boiled down to a few categories like relationship, rest, and thrills. I would assert the things we love most about summer’s downtime can be found and fulfilled in Christ- and all year long!
There is nothing that warms our hearts quite like relationship. Dating relationships turn us into mono-focused zombies, with that one relationship always in the back of our minds. Family and friends help us feel like we are loved and belong. God calls himself our Father and Christ our brother. The Triune God longs to comfort us with a deeper love than a parent. He jealously desires to be that relationship always in the back of our minds. We belong to Him with a closer connection than any earthly relationship can bring.
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. –Psalm 36:7
For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, that person is My brother and sister and mother.” –Matthew 12:50
One of the things we desire most from vacation is rest. A break from work… to feel refreshed. The crazy thing is many times our vacations are full of activity and we don’t have enough downtime. Other times work follows us via cell phone. Jesus tells us that regardless of whether we can get away, He can give us the refreshment we are looking for. I know His rest is available, but I must admit in my life I still find it illusive.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. –Matthew 11:28
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. –Isaiah 26:3
A few weeks ago our family visited an amusement park. We noticed one ride had a five minute wait time compared to 55 minutes for some of the others. So we went for it. Turns out it had fire breathing scary mummies and the ride went forward and backward. In a word- Awful! But my thrill-loving daughter thought it was amazing. Some people just love adventure and the most fulfilling adventure is found in Christ.
In Matthew 10 Jesus tells his disciples to do something crazy. Go into a town without money or extra clothes or a hotel room. Enter a home with a greeting and then stay in a stranger’s house until you’re ready to leave. Completely impractical and from all appearances lacking wisdom! Yet this was the thrill ride craziness Jesus called his followers to.
How about these:
*Nehemiah- has an idea to rebuild a wall around the city of Jerusalem, gets people in on the idea and accomplishes it.
*Esther- puts her life in danger to talk to the king in order to save God’s chosen people
*A boy gives Jesus his lunch and Jesus uses it to feed a stadium full of people
The Rubber Meets the Road
Though we may nod our heads and agree, that’s the easy part. We may see on paper God is sufficient, but struggle to believe. We mentally agree these account are truthful and accurate from the Bible, when it comes down to it we struggle to believe it applies to us today. That is we struggle to believe God is actually at work in our lives. Worked in our lives. Working in our lives. Will work in our lives.
If we believed He was moving we could not be consistently irritable. If we believed God was holding us we would not live with complaints readily on our lips. It must mean we simply are not believing He is active and praising Him.
“I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless . . . shyness or the fear of boring others is deliberately brought in to check it. The world rings with praise — lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game.” -C.S. Lewis
Praise the Lord!
The answer to the grumpy Christian life is praise. Praise of the things we are enjoying, but more importantly ask the Lord to help us enjoy Him so our praising Him becomes genuine.
Prayer Request: This past Friday I began teaching a writing course at my kids’ Christian school. I am overjoyed with the opportunity to guide them in writing and we will use their writing to eventually create an evangelistic blog. Please pray for the students’ hearts that they are ready to spiritually for what this will require of them. Pray for me that I will lead the students well.