Hey friend-I’ve been there.
Many of us who’ve spent decades in church can attest to filling a position because it answered a need deep inside of us rather than because of our love for Jesus.
It’s entirely possible to be near the things and people of God-even God Himself- and not be attentive to or aware of the Presence of Christ.
There were lots of folks around the cross.
Some were paid to be there-for the Roman guards it was just another day at work. Some were there against their will-the two thieves were going to be crucified somewhere it just happened to be next to the Son of God.
Some wished they weren’t there as they watched their son (Mary) and beloved rabbi (John) die. Some were just walking by and were either curious or not depending on their dispositions.
Today Chole invites me to think about where I am in relation to the cross-am I near but not listening?
Am I “doing” but not “loving”?
Is my body occupying a pew or a pulpit while my spirit is far away?
Paid to be close to Jesus: nearest and yet farthest away. The paycheck can change your perspective whether paid in cash or praise. The soldiers valued Jesus’ stuff more than His life. As they kept themselves busy around the cross, they numbed themselves to His voice.
Today, fast God-as-job. Whether your check comes from a church or not, consider ways in which you, too, may be near in body but absent in spirit, taking care of Jesus’ stuff but now attending to His voice. Proximity does not automate intimacy. Only love transforms “near” into “for”.Alicia Britt Chole