Thursday, August 14, 2008

Baby Steps

More stuff- more clothes, new furniture, more toys, new guitars, more money, more, more, more!!! It seems as though our generation is never satisfied, but not just with "stuff," with our careers too. Climb the corporate ladder. Rise to the top. Step on anyone to get there. Feed your ego by becoming the most successful person you can be. Christians even buy into this philosophy. Prosperity theories have infiltrated our churches, preaching about how to have "your best life now" and how we can pray for God to "enlarge our territories." I am not saying that we shouldn't strive to have positive attitudes and hearts full of joy. What I am saying or rather asking, is, "Why?" Why are we running so fast and hard to succeed so much in this life? Why are we consumed with worldly treasures that all will only rot away? Why do we (I) grasp at empty pleasures? When this world and all of it's competition wears on my heart, the words of Paul encourage me and guide me back to the narrow path I long to tread.

Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

I want to "continue in the cause..." and run, not walk, heavenward. This life and all it's "stuff" is that exactly, just "stuff." I lose focus, so much of the time, on what is important and what IS important is eternity, not carnality (is that a word?) So again I reflect and am reminded of how I need to continually be renewed and transformed into the likeness of Christ. How am I to do that? The apostle Paul urges us, " view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will."

I yearn for God's will in my life. Sometimes I obsess over if I am living out His perfect and pleasing will. Am I in it, or out of it? Am I walking on the narrow path right now, or am I skipping down my own road? What am I to do?

I think maybe I could deny myself some and obey Him more. Maybe it isn't going to be this grand, gigantic, life-changing event. Maybe I need to take baby-steps. (Bill Murray, "What About Bob" ...ring a bell?) If I start making little changes, soon I'll start to walk a little faster, then I'll begin a slight jog, and before you know it, I will be sprinting onward toward my goal.

Some little changes:

WAKE UP and get out of bed, before the kids!!!
(I am SO not a morning person!)
...after getting out of bed, PRAY!!!

...after praying, READ MY BIBLE!!!

...after reading my bible, BE NICE, even before coffee!!!

...after being nice, STAY NICE!!!

...CHANGE me, not everyone around me!!!
(oh this is going to be hard. Please pray for me!)

On a side note: I know this is going to sound cheesy, but I really do want to be a champion for Christ! I want to win the gold, but I can't just run in the race, I have to train, endure, work hard! Athletes don't win without sacrifice, determination, dedication...and everyone has to begin somewhere. I mean Michael Phelps had to jump into a pool and learn how to swim, didn't he? Well I am going to take a baby step in the right direction today! Will you join me?

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