A Long Obedience
In his fantastic book, A Long Obedience In the Same Direction, pastor and author Eugene Peterson writes about the idea of faithfulness and discipline when it comes to living the Christian life.
In a very eloquent way, he offers an alternative to the stereotype that so many people have about Christians and the way we often are so "heavenly minded" we aren't any "earthly good." Peterson writes,
"Hoping does not mean doing nothing. It is not fatalistic resignation. It means going about our assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and the conclusions."What Peterson captures here is too good to miss. Christian hope is grounded in action. Its very foundation is exemplified by the words of Jesus who said in John 6:38:
"I have not come here to do my own will, but the will/work of the Father, who sent me."You and I have work to do, we are called to take the gifts, talents, time and treasure we've been given and put them to good use for the sake of the kingdom of God.
And here's a secret. When it comes to living the Christian life, there's no such thing as retirement. In fact, the word "retirement" can't be found anywhere in the Bible, but that's another devotion for another day. The fact of the matter is, that you and I are never done "discipling." Never.
Pablo Casals was one of the greatest cellists whoever lived. At age ninety-six he was still practicing three hours a day. When someone asked him once why he did this, he replied, "I'm beginning to notice some improvement."
Come on. That's so good, isn't it? How many of us approach our life with Christ like that? How many of us devote ourselves to studying, praying, giving, serving, loving and living our lives in such a way that we are utterly devoted to Christ? Most of us devote all of our time to furthering our own careers, strengthening our portfolios, fulfilling our own desires...
Mark Batterson once wrote:
"We live in a culture that celebrates fifteen minutes of fame, but God honors a lifetime of faithfulness."
The farther down the road in my Christian walk, the more I have begun to realize just how true this truly is.
May begin to see all of the aspects of your life as a means to grow in your faith, and show the love of Christ to the world. May you use all the things God has given you to glorify God and enjoy God each and every day.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.