Friday, December 02, 2005

Success means going all out

The Way I Was Made,
by Chris Tomlin
Caught in the half-light, I'm caught alone
Waking up to the sunrise and the radio
Feels like I'm tied up, what's holding me?
Just praying today will be the day I go free

I want to live like there's no tomorrow
I want to dance like no one's around
I want to sing like nobody's listening
Before I lay my body down
I want to give like I have plenty
I want to love like I'm not afraid
I want to be the man I was meant to be
I want to be the way I was made

Made in Your likeness, made with Your hands
Made to discover who You are and who I am
All I've forgotten help me to find
All that You've promised let it be in my life
  • Last night, my wife and I were looking through catalogs getting ideas for Christmas gifts, and I came across a gift set including this song. She had previously talked about how much she liked it, which is understandable since she goes all out in her fervor for the Lord and for life. When something wonderful happens, she gets ecstatic. When something terrible happens, she sobs deeply. I was thinking about getting her the set, or something related, as a way to show how much I think this song resonates with her life. I think it also resonates with how God wants us to live.
  • I have come to realize that while she's well on her way to living out what the songwriter hopes for in his life, I still have a ways to go. So maybe God brought this song across my path not just for her, but also for me.
  • One of my email addresses reflects my desire to live all out for God and life. Yet I find myself, maybe not consciously, but out of habit(?), putting artificial limits on my emotions and excitement. Is it because I'm a man? I've seen too many passionate men to believe that excuse. Am I afraid of rejection ("I can't be seen around you!")?
  • Henry David Thoreau went to Walden Pond. Why? "I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life." He needed to get away from the hustle and bustle and seek solitude so he could better know himself. I too readily seek busy-ness, especially when things get rough. If the pressure's on, or I'm feeling rejected, I'll keep my mind occupied so I don't have to feel. Nothing gets resolved, mind you; the suppressed emotions will come out at another time, probably inappropriately.
  • Imagine walking up to Jesus at Gethsemane. He knows He must drink the cup of suffering. Today, we know what really happened. He felt the agony so deeply that he sweat drops of blood, a condition known in medical circles as hematohidrosis. It comes about in times of great stress or agony.
  • But imagine walking up to a different Jesus, one like so many men:
    "What's the matter, Lord?"
    "Huh? What?" He says, quickly turning away.
    "Are You crying?"
    "Crying? Ha! That's for sissies. I, um, just got some dust in my eyes."
    "Would you like to share how You're feeling. I know this is such a difficult time for You."
    "Nah. It's not so bad. Sometimes you just gotta tough it up and take it like a man. And don't tell anybody that I was crying. Not that I was, mind you. But imagine what people would say if they even thought that was the case."
  • Ridiculous, huh? How could you get excited about following that? No, I believe Jesus experienced delightful joys and terrible sorrows. He lived like there was no tomorrow. On earth, that is. He knew an eternity of tomorrows with the Father in heaven awaited Him on the other side of the cross.
  • He came to give us abundant life, now (John 10:10). Dear Lord, help us to live all out so that we better reflect who You are. Help us to feel great joys and deep sorrows, and to pour ourselves out like the apostle Paul did during his short time on earth. Our life on earth is but a vapor; why care so much about pleasing people more than You, especially people we hardly even know? Thank you for drinking so deeply of life, giving us an example and inspiration for ourselves. People have loved you so deeply, because You opened Your heart to them. May we know such heights and depths of emotion and fervor in our lives. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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    At 17:59, Blogger John said...

    Jeff, excellent post, it truly spoke to me, and my prayers join with yours.

    Be encouraged!

    At 13:08, Blogger eph2810 said...

    Great post, Jeff...
    You know one of my favorite parts of Jesus in Gethsemane is recorded in John 20, when He prays, especially for all believers. Although He was suffering, He remembered to pray for us. That I call compassion. May I be more like Him to pray for others as He has prayed for me...

    At 09:09, Anonymous Helen said...

    "So maybe God brought this song across my path not just for her, but also for me."
    Well, I would certainly like to believe it hit your path for a reason. And it's really beautiful.

    At 10:42, Blogger Jeff said...

    John, so glad that's the case. I hope more men realize it isn't a "feminine" trait to not be stoic all the time.

    Thanks, eph, for that message. Compassion, to mean anything, must come from the heart.

    Helen, I totally agree. Although I do believe in coincidences, if I can learn from it I'll first believe that God was in it.


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