Grateful that I’m GratefulNovember 22, 2017
Taste It: More Than Just Talking the Talk (an Allegory)January 18, 2018
Quick. Picture the great life you would like to have… one day. (Really… Take a moment. Mine has horses in my future pasture behind my future farm house with a young filly kicking around.)
Don’t all of us have this idea of “one day” which we think about when our minds are floating off into daydreams? It’s the day when we finally have the desires of our hearts.
Without knowing you, I know a few things about your one day image… There is no stress. Money is secure, and there is a little (or, a lot) more than we actually need. There is unconditional love, both romantic and family love. There is good health so we can go and do what we want.
And, again without knowing you, I can predict what is not prevalent in your daydreaming about your “one day”: your spiritual life.
Am I wrong? Oh, I’m not saying you don’t care about it. I’m just saying it’s not a leading component when you think about that “one day.” Did you immediately think, “And I’ll be in a deeper, more intimate and rewarding relationship with Jesus”? Or, “I’ll be immersed in [as Dallas Willard described it] a ‘conversational walk with God, talking with him about what we are doing together’”?
Imagine if you asked someone what they daydreamed about for the future, and the person answered, “I’ll be so close to God that I’ll sense his will for me step by step as I go about my day-to-day life. And I’ll be living with such power from the Holy Spirit that his energy, clarity, and creativity will overflow through me into the lives of those around me.”
This would be an unusual daydream. Wouldn’t you agree? To be honest, I would think the person was a tad odd. I don’t daydream that way, and I’m in the business!
But I want to, and I have started to visualize this. Will you join me?
Because one day is fast approaching, my Friend. If you are younger, then 55 might be way out there as your one day. If you are 50ish, then 65 or 75 might be. At either or at any stage, the older folks, 55 or 75, will tell you “one day” arrived at the speed of light.
Will it be what we intended?
We must all ask ourselves periodically, “Is where I’m going where I want to be when I get there?” Because you are going somewhere. Even as you read this, you are tracking toward one day.
When you get there, will it be what or where you wanted to be?
Jesus spoke many times about the regret people will experience as they reach their one day and realize it wasn’t where they wanted, expected, or intended to be. Jesus wants you to be intentional about your journey. Regret of having “missed it” is an overarching theme in Jesus’ teachings, and his parables echo this constant drumbeat as well.
Jesus often concluded his parables with this statement: “And there will be wailing and crying out and gnashing of teeth.” I’m not sure what “gnashing of teeth” is, but I know I don’t want to be doing it.
Imploring us to check our path periodically and ask this all-important question to re-center our direction, Jesus said,
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? (Matt. 16:25)
We are all on the journey toward there. Your Heavenly Father wants you to experience all the riches of his Kingdom every day in this life and in the next life.
We must ask ourselves honestly, “Is where I’m presently going taking me in that A-plus direction?”
I won’t try to give you any specific directions to the way there; Jesus already has:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matt. 6:33)
We cannot, in our humanity, predict the path to the A-plus there. But we can seek first the Way, his Way, and rest confidently in this assurance:
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matt.28:20)