Friday, July 25, 2003
Follow-up: I've got a little time here at work, and I wanted to post something related to the earlier "too mature" post.
A friend wrote me to ask about the flipside of what I'd written. If I was getting hacked off at our tendency to sit there like bumps on logs, not growing and yet still feeling like we're "mature" with the mental assent to whatever we've been taught but no real lifechange - then what about the opposite, where everything we hear pushes us to change, only to find that we can't be that perfect, that there's too much to change, that we're still falling short on so many different levels, and thereby failing to change by being overwhelmed instead of being underwhelmed as before. That about catch it?
Basically, folks like me *think* too much, rationalizing this or that or the other thing into whatever we need. Falling on this "opposite" side is so easy when confronted with how much in me still needs to change in order for real holiness to reign. But I've found something that seems to at least keep me from depression and painkiller addiction: Focus on Christ. By letting my attention get caught up in Him, instead of my own shortcomings, I at least have a better view of a destination, right? Yes, there's always much to do, much to change, much to lay aside. Focusing on that stuff won't help - but faith in Christ leads to good work, real love leads to real labor, and hope inspires endurance to the end (1 Thes 1:2-3).
It's easy to put some mantra (remember Jabez? - thanks ABA) together that will lead you to bliss in ten easy steps. But real life doesn't work that way. We fall, and we get back up, only to fall again. Focusing more on why we're getting up, instead of focusing on the frequency or obstacles of falling down, is the only way to keep pressing on...