Thursday, November 24, 2005

Which life am I living?

It seems we have two choices in this life, to live as if our Creator didn't exist, to bumble through wondering if there is a point, to forget the reality all around us, to believe the lie that has been pulled down over our eyes. Or live in the knowledge that there really is a God of heaven right here down on earth, who is somehow working in the mess, in the details, in the stuff of our everyday lives. This is the choice that awakens us each morning.

This is the decision we have to make. 1 Peter 4 makes the choice slightly more stark. Because each of these choices has consequences. We can face judgment on our own or with someone who has taken the punishment for us. (And yes I am aware that I am using words that send us running to the hills in fright. Judgment and punishment just aren't in our vocabulary any more. But they are in the Bible, and however much I want to I can't ignore them.)

So I don't want to live the first way, the life of living my life for evil human desires (how stark does God get at times?) and face judgment on my own. But is the second life better? Surely living for me is more fun? Surely the second way involves lists and rules and things I don't want to do.

But then, that always has been one of the greatest lies around. That life under God is restrictive, second rate and impossible to live. God offers a better way.

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen"

It's a beautiful life, the best kind of life, the life lived where we get to administer Gods grace to each other. The way to loving life isn't to carry on seeking pleasure in the stuff we build around us, but to walk in God's ways. He made us to live this way, any other way just isn't going to fit. I love these passages, that living as we were made to live is true freedom and results in loving life. That I can administer God's grace, I can be someone who brings something of God into someone else's life. That's something to blow your mind. It takes the focus of my work off me being able to do it and places it to being about the King of all Creation working in me, giving me strength and words to say to the people I meet each day.


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