Does this sound familiar?
I have to go to the bathroom.
You just went.
Read me a story.
I just read one to you.
You have water right next to you.
Anyone who has ever attempted putting a child to bed who does not want to sleep understands the struggle of the endless excuses. Some children, no matter how tired they are, refuse to go to sleep and parents and babysitters around the world are left wondering, “How does Mary Poppins make it look so easy?”
At times, when it comes to my Christian walk, I feel like a little girl sitting in my bed trying to come up with anything that will get me out of doing the one thing I’ve been told to do. Jesus actually addressed this kind of behavior in the gospel of Luke in the story about the banquet. The banquet host had sent out many invitations, but everyone had an excuse for why they could not attend. When I look at my behavior in the light of this story, I realize that by giving excuses I’m not just being disobedient, I’m refusing an invitation to walk closer with my Savior. I know firsthand what it’s like to live in a state of constant refusal, so hopefully by sharing my experience I’ll be able to help someone not struggle as long as I did.
I know that the Lord has called me to write and to write from the heart. Writing about one’s life and its lessons is an incredibly vulnerable job. It’s a commitment to be honest with yourself and with others in and out of season. (That means even when your life is not so epic.) However, this is not any different than our lives ought to be in general. I’m not saying we ought to go around venting on just anyone with a pulse. I’m only talking about the fact that being a Christian does not mean being a perfect human…whatever that is.
Even Saint Paul the Apostle, who is credited with teaching the Gospel to the first century world (kind of a big deal) said,
“I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” (Romans 7:22-24)
Yikes! Does that give us any hope? Hmmm…
“Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:25)
Whew! That was close. 😉
So what is the point of being a Christian, then? If striving to be perfect gets me nowhere, where should my focus be? I’m so glad you asked 🙂 This question reminds of an epiphany I had recently. Browsing through the pages of a home decor magazine and it dawned on me that all of the finely decorated rooms had one thing in common…no family photos. That got me to thinking…what is the point of decorating my house? Is it to have my home featured in Suburban Living Magazine or is to create an atmosphere that welcomes and celebrates my friends and family?
Similarly, what if the point of Christianity is not to show the world how “Christian” we are, but to allow Christ to make our lives a front porch light? A light that says, “My life is rooted in Christ. He takes care of me and He can do the same for you.” What if our collective Christianity welcomed and celebrated all those in search of rest for a weary soul?