It’s A Daily Struggle


I despise the platitude plastered across social media memes:  “Hard times either make you bitter or better”.

It makes it sound so simple.

As if all I have to do is make a single choice between two equally available paths.

Enduring deep pain and unchangeable circumstances requires continued commitment to face the fork in the road over and over, and to choose well each time.

Read the rest here: A Daily Struggle

Bifurcate \ˈbī-(ˌ)fər-ˌkāt, bī-ˈfər-\

Bifurcate:  1. to cause to divide into two branches or parts; 2.  my life.

Before Dominic ran ahead to heaven I led a fairly unified life.  

Our family was unusually close, our goals closely aligned, we shared the same faith, had developed routines and even all liked creamy peanut butter.

That changed when Dom left us-suddenly I was forced to live with one foot HERE and one foot THERE.

I didn’t get to choose, it was decided for me.

Paul’s words took on new meaning and great relevance:

We know that if our earthly house—a mere tent that can easily be taken down—is destroyed, we will then live in an eternal home in the heavens, a building crafted by divine—not human—hands. Currently, in this tent of a house, we continue to groan and ache with a deep desire to be sheltered in our permanent home because then we will be truly clothed and comfortable, protected by a covering for our current nakedness. The fact is that in this tent we anxiously moan, fearing the naked truth of our reality. What we crave above all is to be clothed so that what is temporary and mortal can be wrapped completely in life. The One who has worked and tailored us for this is God Himself, who has gifted His Spirit to us as a pledge toward our permanent home.

2 Corinthians 5:1-5 VOICE

GroanYES!

Deep longing can only be expressed with low, gutteral sounds-there are no words!

I am in this earthly tent but want desperately to be free of it and clothed with the eternal-where joy unspeakable will reign and sorrow and death will be no more.

So this Lenten journey is helpful to me-it acknowledges the struggle between flesh and spirit.  It encourages my heart to walk by faith and not sight, to grab hold of that which counts forever and let go of that which is doomed for destruction.

The truth is, all of us who follow Jesus lead a bifurcated life.

It’s simply that some of us can ignore that truth.  Until death touches our bodies or our families, we can pretend that the earthly tent’s not so bad, that it might be somewhere we’d enjoy staying quite awhile.

I am not at all thankful for Dom’s death.  I will never be thankful my son left us in the prime of life, full of promise and without saying good-bye.

But I am thankful that I am unavoidably confronted with the truth that this life is fleeting, this world is only a moment and this body temporary housing for my eternal soul.

Paul goes on to write:

In light of this [our understanding that our life here is temporary], we live with a daring passion and know that our time spent in this body is also time we are not present with the Lord. The path we walk is charted by faith, not by what we see with our eyes. There is no doubt that we live with a daring passion, but in the end we prefer to be gone from this body so that we can be at home with the Lord. Ultimately it does not matter whether we are here or gone; our purpose stays fixed, and that is to please Him.

2 Corinthians 5: 6-9 VOICE

My eyes see one thing, but my heart knows another.

walk by faith feet on path

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repost: Choosing the Eternal Path

For most of us in America it seems that we rush from place to place, from event to event, from meal to meal, from crisis to crisis.

But when I read the Gospels I don’t feel a sense of rush at all. 

Jesus expressed urgency when proclaiming that the kingdom of God was near, but He was never in a hurry.

Read the rest here:  Choosing the Eternal Path

Choosing the Eternal Path

jer-6-16-web-21

It’s easy to develop the habit of hurrying.

An inner voice screams, “I’ve got to do it NOW, I’m running out of time!”

When I talk to people, or overhear others’ conversations, they say, “I just don’t have time” or “I’m so busy, I don’t know what to do”.

I have said it myself more than once.

For most of us in America it seems that we rush from place to place, from event to event, from meal to meal, from crisis to crisis.

But when I read the Gospels I don’t feel a sense of rush at all. 

Jesus expressed urgency when proclaiming that the kingdom of God was near, but He was never in a hurry.

He walked everywhere He went even though His was the most important ministry ever executed on the earth and it would have been much more efficient to choose a faster mode of transportation.

The message I receive from His life in this regard is that the journey is as important as the destination.

We justify our lifestyle by claiming we have no control. 

We just can’t help the fact that our cell phones ring, that we have to go here or there and that we can’t seem to get a handle on our schedules.

I think that as Christ followers, God would say:  “Choose!”

We do have control over how we spend our time. 

It is true that we have to fulfill our God-given responsibilities and that may include work-hours we can’t choose.  But even those who work full-time have many hours that they direct.

How many conversations do we neglect with the very people God has put in our path because our minds are focused on the next thing? 

How many times are we multi-tasking with our phones or Ipads and missing a divine appointment to show the love of Jesus to someone right in front of us?

God has not called us to be a people out of breath, with no energy or heart for the ministry He has given us. 

He is the Lord of the Sabbath-the King of Peace and the Giver of Rest.  He invites us to join Him and to take His yoke upon us-a yoke neither heavy nor cumbersome.

In Jeremiah, God called Israel back to Himself with these words:

Thus says the Lord; Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is; then walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls

Jeremiah 6: 16

Our techno-toys should be used as tools not as taskmasters. 

The activities that fill our calendars should be evaluated in light of the greater call God has on our lives, not chosen just because our friends are doing them.

We need to do “first things first” and make room for people before things and conversation before commerce.

We are free in Christ to choose. 

Abundant life is a gift of God to be experienced right now, right where we are.  

When we refuse to get sucked into the “busy-ness” of our culture, we open up a world of possibility to be the people God has called us to be.

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