Monday, November 17, 2008

What is central?

Look at the foundation of any structure; the greater the structure, the greater the base. If your job is your base and you lose your job, what happens to everything else? If your spouse is your foundation and your spouse dies, what then?

Look even more closely at your faith. Christians have a unique perspective on more than just the here and now. Those who are living for Him on a daily basis are aware of something much bigger than they could ever be. It is the hope of eternity which is completely undeserved by us and yet He gives it to us freely.

When we look carefully at the base of our lives we probably can point to a few different attributes. There are the common things like our careers or our education. Most of us will point to a healthy and strong upbringing by our parents. Some will consider their capital assets as their base. Others will point to a God of some sort and claim that their faith is their base. A few will very specifically point to Christ.

If we phrased this in the form of a question, it would sound like this; “what is the base in your life, or rather, what is the foundation that your life is built on?”

In addition to the above answers, others might also list specific people such as their pastor, their spouse, their siblings, a close friend or maybe even a grandparent. Whatever your base is, examine it closely and ask yourself one very important question; what happens to you if your base is gone?

Of all the possible answers that you might give, there is only one that does not change and never goes away. A life based on Christ is one that will never fail, just like the house built on the rocks. Every other thing listed above is like building a house on sand. Eventually the water is going to wash it all away and you will have nothing left.

As I sit here tonight I am struck by the thought of the foundation that many people I know have used to build their lives on. There are some very real struggles going on right now in homes all around me, people are frightened and anxious. I am reminded that there is a lot of sand here in the high desert, but there is more than I thought.

My faith is an ever changing, every day maturing facet to who I am. As I continue to be molded by Him into the vessel that he needs me to be for His kingdom, I am distancing myself from others around me. I am reminded of what Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 10:32-39 (The Message);

32-33"Stand up for me against world opinion and I'll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I'll cover for you? 34-37"Don't think I've come to make life cozy. I've come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don't deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don't deserve me. 38-39"If you don't go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me.

With that said I hope that my thoughts are not misconstrued to say that I am not interested in being around other people. Honestly I would like nothing more than to talk to anyone at anytime, regardless of their opinions or views. The part I can’t stand however is when a view or an opinion takes center stage in such a way as to assume that my views and opinions don’t matter. At that point the conversation is pretty much over for me.

Most people I come into contact with are more close minded than open. I want to be as open as possible, as transparent as clear glass. My troubles are at the surface and I am trying to lay them at His feet. The constant issue for me is simply control; I can’t seem to get enough of it. I wrestle with God way more than I should. I like having things I can count on at all times. But with people that is a hard concept.

There are very few absolutes in my life. I know I can count on God; His word gives me that assurance. I believe that as long as God is on His throne (which is eternal), that my life belongs to Him and no one else. I can count on His grace and I know that while I have done nothing to earn it, it is freely given. I believe that as long as my dog is alive he will always love me too. Other than that I count on very little more. I suppose that seems like a narrow view but think about it.

Regardless of your worldly view or theology, you cannot count on the sun coming up tomorrow, nor can you count on the ocean being blue. You cannot count on the love of a spouse forever (although you should be able to), but unfortunately people change while here in this fallen world. You cannot say that your child will love you in 30 years. You cannot count on your car, your bank account, your pastor, your best friend, your job, your mother. If this is offensive I apologize, but coming to grips with your priorities can be very eye opening.

With that disturbing news I should retrace a few steps and mention that I love my wife very much and hope and pray that we are married for 60+ years like my grandparents. I love the consistency that she represents in my life. I love that God is in her life and that her walk is an ever maturing one. I love that we are raising our children together in a Christ centered way. I love the way my wife cooks, I love how she takes care of me and the kids. My wife means more to me than almost anything else. Only one thing comes before my wife and that is Christ (although my wife is a really close second).

Somewhere along the highway of life we choose our base, we choose our foundation. For some it is science, for others it’s some mystical creature that cannot be explained. For me it is my love for Christ. At the very center of who I am there is only one, and that is Jesus. There can be no other way. As long as I build from that basis I have no worries regarding eternity.

The trip up is the road between here and there.

my life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.D

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