Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Control (01/30/06)
- TITLE: A Lament
By Suzanne R
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Sitting on the green stubbly grass of the library lawn, students soaked up the sun that shone from the clear blue sky. Birds twittered from the bushes and trees, or hopped around pecking the crumbs of food that littered the ground. Young adults ate, studied, met friends and generally enjoyed the green oasis in the midst of the concrete jungle that formed our university campus. That’s also where we Christians met to propagate our faith.
“You see this diagram? The circle is your life. Here are the different things that make up your life. Family. Hobbies. Study. Employment. Here at the centre is the throne. Who is on that throne? Is it you? With religion as one of the things that revolves around you? Or is God on the throne? The choice is yours. You’ll live with the consequences.”
We were so smug. With the combination of ourselves plus God, anything was possible. Such audacity! We overestimated ourselves….
How many times since then have I yet again placed God on the throne? At least, until the next time I make a choice that is not God-honouring. Then I have to start all over again.
Almighty God, why do you let us get away with such mutiny? Holy Spirit, you live in your people … PLEASE change us. Now.
They say it was Eve’s fault. But if Eve hadn’t taken the forbidden fruit, I would have. See, I know my response to quality chocolate. Eve was after the knowledge of good and evil, plus the fruit looked good to eat. I lose the ability to say NO simply for the temporary high of sugar, caffeine and endorphins, the creamy texture, flavour and the emotional itch that chocolate scratches. And chocolate doesn’t even look that good.
Oh, I wisely ‘allow’ God be in charge of the big things in life. The consequences of a life lived His way are clear. But if He completely ruled my life, shouldn’t I come to Him with all things? What about the choice to postpone cleaning the house yet another day? To put off organizing that ever-growing pile of papers? To say ‘no’ sometimes? Where does my responsibility finish and God’s start when He is in His rightful place as ruler?
If God were truly ruler in my life as per that neat little diagram, life would be great. I’d be fit and slim, my home would be spotless and I’d never again hunt through piles of clutter. I’d not be exhausted because of insufficient sleep, nor would I panic as deadlines loomed. I’d be always joyful, prayerful and thankful. So why don’t I give over control of ALL my life to my Lord?
It should be so easy. But, contrary to my expectations on the library lawn, I’m not as strong as I expected. Especially when it comes to submitting, even to God Almighty.
We are told to work hard at godliness in the same way as a soldier works hard at living a disciplined lifestyle. How many overweight chocolate-addicted soldiers with messy quarters do you know?
We’re told to welcome suffering in our lives as the discipline of a loving Father towards His child. I don’t want discipline … I just want to enjoy the abundant life on my terms.
We’re told to wait patiently as a farmer watches and waits for the seed to sprout and grow and produce a harvest. But I want godliness and I want it NOW.
God doesn’t control us like a puppeteer controls the mannequin on the end of the strings. Yet He does call us to make Him Lord.
One day, despite our current imperfections and failures, we’ll be given a new glorious resurrection body. We’ll have a fresh start in God’s kingdom. But will God take away our inclination to rebel? Will He make us people who never again attempt to run our own lives our own way without Him?
Personally, I’m happy to strum a harp and worship in song for the rest of eternity. I can’t quite see it happening, though. But this I know … the same God whose Spirit helps me to make Him Lord is molding me even now. He will be more visible in the kingdom to come. Won’t I always submit then?
Regardless, He loves and cares for His own, despite us.
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