Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | May 20, 2008

striving…

As I was walking around the prayer room this afternoon, struggling to stay attentive and engaged, my eyes were drawn towards a young girl sitting against the back wall of the room.  She wasn’t reading the Bible.  She wasn’t meditating on a verse.  She wasn’t “doing” anything.  Instead, she was just sitting there.  Her state of rest provoked me.  I was jealous. 

I remembered my first few times visiting IHOP.  I, similar to this girl, would just sit by myself and let the worship music wash over me.  I didn’t have an agenda.  Rather, I was just there to sit.  To wait.  To rest.  To meet with the Lord. 

Today, I envied this girl.  I envied her confidence in the Lord.  I envied her seemingly peaceful posture.  And I started to wonder how I had strayed so far.  You see, there’s a competitive edge in me that wants to be the best at everything.  It started out with sports and school, transitioning into friendships and ministry, and has now landed at spirituality.  My fear of being a step behind and of missing out has held me captive to agendas and striving.  I have become fixated on growing, on learning, and on improving to the extent that I have forgotten the simplicity of the gospel. 

I am reminded of Paul’s words in Galatians:  “for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing.”  Today, it translated to this:  “If you could sanctify yourself, Christ died for nothing.  If you could grow into the ‘best Christian’ yourself, Christ died for nothing.  Better yet, if you could make it through life by yourself, Christ died for nothing.”

As I returned to my seat, set aside my Bible and journal, and closed my eyes, I felt the Lord saying to me, “Just let me love you.”  I set aside my list of people to pray for.  I set aside the issues and decisions and questions looming over me.  And I sat still.  

While there is a time for godly striving and a time to study the Word, and a time to meditate on Scripture, and a time to pray and contend, and a time to just ‘go for it’, there is also a time to sit and to receive.  Because in the end, I could memorize the entire Bible, heal the sick, and give everything I own to the poor… yet if I have not love, I am nothing.  And how can I love if I refuse to sit still enough to let God love me first? 

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