rick & 1j13
Friday, January 23, 2004
This has been... a week. Hasn't it? Even with my wife and kids getting a holiday Monday, we all feel run down and worn out from how long, how stress-filled, how absolutely nutty this week has been. "Challenging" is the first descriptive word that comes to mind; "convicting" is the second one. I've been watching people, reading some stuff, listening for God to speak - and I've been pricked: things need to change.

You've probably felt some of that, too. I know I'm not alone. I was moving garbage to the curbside this morning (I hope the pesky raccoon that ripped into our last trashbag and licked all the leftover bowls of chili from Tuesday night is running around the woods with a tummy ache and the runs today!!!), and I shouted good morning to our neighbor, Ray. We both agreed - short weeks just mean that five days worth of work has to be done in four. Same kind of week for him, probably for you, too.

So here we are at the threshold of another weekend. I'm looking forward to not having to do much of anything tomorrow - but I also know I'll be busy with something, anything that might need to be done. Groceries, chores, putting new light bulbs in, cleaning the playroom, shopping for someone's birthday present so our daughter can go to the skate party Sunday afternoon, basketball game tonight.

Life is full. It is abundantly full. And yet, I don't think this is necessarily what Jesus had in mind: We live an "abundant life" that is really stealing, killing and destroying us. Instead of resting in what Christ is actually promising here, we get over-busy, over-spent, over-stretched in our responsibilities, activities, even church things. That's not the "abundant life"; that's not "life to the full."

The challenge, the conviction for me this week - maybe for you, too - is to just be what God has called me to be: Christ-like. Difficult enough, but totally available in His grace, right? Anything else is graceless, because most of what I find myself involved in apart from that calling is full of my own will-power and determination, not His empowering and enabling grace.

Maybe it's just me.
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