I bought some poinsettias this year thinking I could keep them alive until next Christmas as many have done. I threw their dying stems and falling leaves away last week. I’ve also given up on many of my resolutions for the new year. Except one. January 1st I felt a restlessness in my soul. I couldn’t ignore it and I still don’t understand it. It is as strong now as when I felt it during my quiet time on that early January morning. I want to follow it and I want to search the depths of whatever it is. It’s not a “calling,” but it is definitely calling! Have you felt something like this? A call to go deeper still? Something that says, “Your thinking is good, but off base just a little?
This year I am going to explore this feeling and I am going to post my journey here. I am hoping all of you have some advice, some insights, some wisdom to share.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
We’ve heard it most of our life, but what does it mean? What would it look like to have God’s will as typical here as it is in heaven? That has been one of my struggles over the years. How do we become a part of Jesus’ prayer to be in the world, but not of the world? What does life in the Body of Christ look like when lived out?
I learned to ride a bike sort of late; I was nine years old. I was terribly uncoordinated so I had to wait until I could comfortably sit on the seat and pedal. Too uncoordinated to stand and pedal made me feel left out. So as soon as I was able, I practiced riding until I mastered my balance and the technique. I rode around and round our cinder driveway hoping I wouldn’t fall and have to go to school the next day with sores and scabs on my knees and elbows. I did pretty well, and I kept up with my brother after some practice. Then my brother got tired and left his bike laying on the side of the driveway and suddenly his bike became my focus. I took the curve like a pro until I saw the bike and then I turned right into it, I fell and sandwiched myself between our bikes. When my focus was on riding well, I did well, but when I focused on the obstacle, it became my demise.
We do it all the time. We hit potholes in the road we know are there when we planned to miss them. There are many illustrations of moving toward what we focus on, rather than the better path. So easy-peasy, all we have to do is change our focus. Sounds simple.
What if for all our life, our focus has been on the world around us? What if our focus has been on how we can solve our problems or make our life better? We may even decide to be better Christians or kinder people. I know I did. I joined every Bible study I could. I read every self-help book I could find. And yet, here I am struggling with the same issue. What would it look like for God’s will to be done here as it is in heaven? What does it look like to live in Christ as a sinful human being? And is it possible to live in Christ if we are sinful? So many questions, I hope to answer this year as I search and question and listen. Is it possible to live so far above our circumstances we are in another realm?
Is it worth feeling stuck when there is obviously more? At least to me, there seems to be so much more to life than I am experiencing and more than living in this chaotic world. I think it’s possible to be amazing and to live a fantastic life. But I don’t think it looks like we imagine. I think we are holding onto something good and there is something so much better.