Wednesday, January 14, 2009

don't stand still

Life inherently doesn't stand still, it moves on. Sometimes in my life I've tried to stand still, mesmerized and overcome typically by some anxiety issue over a matter of real concern, a concern shared probably by many in this world. I am reminded of Jesus' words when he mentions "the worries of this life," which can choke God's word in our hearts, and make us unfruitful in our lives. Our standing still can be for a variety of reasons.

Journey is a good analogy of our lives, though the change in our lives is not just outward, but inward as well. I am reminded once again of John Bunyan's, the classic The Pilgrim's Progress. For whatever theological deficiencies that story has, it has a number of significant strengths. And one important point in it is that Christian moves on. In a number of places he could have settled down, or in one way or another deterred and stopped from his journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City.

We must not stand still. Sometimes along the way that takes special effort; it can be a struggle. We have to learn not to live on our feelings, not to allow our fears or whatever it is that is impacting us for ill (Jesus' words, "the deceitfulness [NLT- "lure"] of wealth" also comes to mind, here) to stop us from proceeding in God's will for us in Jesus.

For me this moving on takes place in a number of ways. Regular daily intake of God's word, prayer, fellowship with other believers, getting on with the responsibilities of life, and more prayer, more intake of God's word, more of everything that comes my way.

Don't stand still. Move on. Only then will we be able (and enabled) to participate in the life God has for us, a life never without troubles, but never apart from God's love for us in Jesus.

What would you like to add to this?


Lanny said...

Don't stand still for me was a message of "don't not plant a garden."

One year we had some devastation come into our family. At that same time I lost my harvest in my larger garden to two fat deer, they ate everything, seemingly the day before I intended to harvest including flowers in bud.

One day, when all of the personal tragedy was closing in and effecting my heart on any future trusting of others and willingness to give again, ever, let alone again and again and again, I looked up as I was walking aimlessly toward the garden. I thought, "there is no way I am wasting my time on planting down here again in the spring." A voice clearly cut off that thought and said that I had no business thinking that I could not plant another garden. Even if it was highly possible that I would loose the next harvest and the next and the next. I was called to be a gardener and was to plant and grow. I knew immediately that the "voice" meant way more than my garden and that I was to stand in the face of way more than two fat deer. No matter how tiring, futile seeming, or purely painful.

As Christians one of our foremost duties to one another is to encourage one another to keep moving and not stand still. Or to keep planting and tilling no matter the losses.

Thank you for your honest humble encouragement to your readers.

The Wingnut said...

Our pastor did a teaching on that a while back. He talked about how we need to prayerfully develop a spirit of acceptance towards change. Because life does change.

And we cannot, no matter how much we convince ourselves otherwise, live in the past.

And we cannot, no matter how much we dream and hope and wish, live in the future.

We are here in the present, and we need to live in the present.

It is tough to do. I can't tell you how many times I have thought "When this happens, I'll do this."

or, "When I get this, then I will be more this."

or, "If that had not have happened, I'd be better off."

It's extremely dangerous to think like that, because it instantly destroys whatever is going on at the present moment.

Great thoughts, and a great reminder!


L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, but sometimes I honestly need a nap. :)

I'm thinking sometimes we move even in our dreams...

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for your good story. That would make anyone want to throw in the towel and give up, or at least scale down. Or maybe put some sort of fence up around your garden to keep deer and other animals out? Or some other means for that. Just curious.

Yes, I need this sort of message myself. Especially when everything is an effort as now, when I somehow twisted my back over the weekend, and it seems it's worse now this tonight. And the cold here. Heading to below 0 F.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, I've found myself wanting to live in the past in some ways, wanting to revert to what worked back then seemingly better than now, forgetting that so much has happened since then, and it would not be the same no matter how I tried.

But I like the way your pastor put it (I take it you mean Rob Bell), "prayerfully developing a spirit of acceptance towards change." Yes, so needed for sure.

Yes, regrets and wishes- we have to move on but in the present. Good thought and angle you give for me to consider more. But I certainly do believe in that. The past and the future are factors, but life unfolds in the present. That is where we live, and where we must learn to thrive and do well in God through Christ.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Wingnut, Also thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

How very true. Sometimes that is exactly what I need. We see that in the Bible. And it is true, God gives to those he loves, even as they sleep- so that life and its outcome is essentially not up to them/us. We must trust and obey, as well as obey and trust.