One author whose name escapes me at this moment said, “To live is to change. To live well is to change often.” When God moves in your life change happens. You can’t expect to have a ‘full’ relationship with Him and have your life stay status quo. Sooner or later, if your heart is open, He will introduce change. It's all a part of the journey. This guy named Paul was on a journey when he said, “I consider everything a loss compared to knowing God.” What can I give up for loss? What can I let go of? You see, I really like the idea of change… until it comes to changing me! In one of my favorite quotes along these lines Tolstoy said, “Everyone wants to change humanity, no one wants to change himself.” (AH! Knock it off Tolstoy. Too much truth. You’re killin' me!)
This Christmas season think about…
Mary’s earthly father. One of the greatest possessions for a Hebrew father in the first century was his daughter’s virginity. When Mary became pregnant, more than likely he and everyone else would have assumed at least initially that Mary had had physical relations with a man. This was embarrassing. He had to deal with change.
Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father. He probably had his life mapped out a little differently than what was about to happen. Even after he found out that Mary was pregnant he could have saved some honor by divorcing her publicly making sure everyone knew he didn’t approve of this behavior. In fact he even could have legally kept the dowry. But he chose to do something else. He embraced the change. And he was changed for the rest of his life.
Mary. No one had to give up more than she did. No one had to change more. What God asked her to do, really, think about it… it was impossible. Give birth, nurture and help mature the son of God? C’mon. That would take an amazing amount of humility and responsibility. Mary didn’t back down. She dealt with the change. Radical change.
You and me. God may not be allowing change to impact as quite as greatly as these family members of Jesus. But sooner or later if we follow him we’ll have choices to make regarding change. Am I open? Can I embrace it? Am I humble enough?
The problem with religion is that sooner or later it's defined by who's following the rules and who's not... kind of like the public swimming pool with fences, wristbands and lifegaurds watching your every move. A relationship with Jesus is more like the diving board at the public pool. When you're on one all you do is dive and invite others to do the same. There are places for structure. But when we subordinate 'the relationship' to rules everyone loses. If rules could saves us we wouldn't need a Savior. (my paraphrase of Galatians 3)
I'm married (Johnna) and have three children (Quincy, Shay and Evan). I've done some school (K-12th, College, Post-Graduate work... I think 2nd grade was my favorite). I'm currently planting a church (actually it's God planting the church. I just get to be the lead follower) in Overland Park, KS called Mission. Check it out at missionchurchonline.com.
Share your comments. Email a post to a friend. Submit to a networking site by clicking on 'bookmark' bar below each post. Subscribe to the RSS feed of this blog If you blog, feel free to link my blog any time... unless what you're writing is no good.