Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Do You See What I See?

Go get your checkbook registry, or open up another window and take a look at your bank account.  I'll wait.  No, I'll not be asking for donations.  You see that little box with your account balance in it?  Imagine it blank -- not as in zeros, but blank; no depressing little numbers to limit your thinking, no quick calculations as to how much will be left once the cable is paid and you've spent most of your paycheck on fuel.

Now, study your reflection in the mirror.  Or look over at the back of your hand.  Maybe just try standing up and sitting right back down again.  Now imagine your reflection without the gray hairs, the bags, sags, wrinkles and dark circles.  Imagine your hands like those of your six-year old nephew's -- wrinkle free, scar less, without the tell tale signs of a life spent cleaning, cooking, pulling weeds or turning wrenches.  Imagine being able to rise and sit without making "the old man noise" as you do.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV) says, "...for we live by faith, not by sight."  I got to thinking what that might look like.  What would it look like to spontaneously help someone in need even though money was a little tight that week?  What would happen if I boldly proclaimed what Jesus has done for me despite what others might think?  (Or maybe at the "wrong" time or in the "wrong" place.)  What would it look like to go on a missions trip, working hard rebuilding homes, or even walk to the post office to be a good steward -- despite my aching joints and my middle aged muscles?  Would it work for me to pray for the most callous, atheistic, "wicked" person I know, claiming victory rather than writing them off as a lost cause?

I don't believe that living in faith is about spending recklessly, conducting ourselves as if we don't need to answer to earthly authority or can suffer no physical consequences for our behavior.  Or that living by faith means making ridiculous statements or demonstrations of "faith."  We recognize earthly limitations such as illness, age, our need for sleep and nourishment, gravity, and financial responsibility, but we don't have to live as though God cannot work beyond those limitations, or even work a miracle through us that reaches beyond what we are humanly capable.  2 Corinthians 5:7 is not about exalting ourselves to super human status.  In fact, it's quite the opposite.  It is about exalting God, relying so totally on Him, seeking His will and walking in accordance with it, that He directs our paths; that we become His vessels, instruments of His peace.  Obedience despite human reason; courage despite seemingly insurmountable odds.

Oh, and just in case you still have that checkbook out -- you know where to reach me.

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