Abraham Lincoln: I could write shorter sermons but when I get started I'm too lazy to stop.
I watched the new "Lincoln" movie last week and left the theater inspired -- not about American politics, you understand. Can anyone truly be inspired about that anymore? Sorry, didn't mean to let my cynicism show so quickly. I love this nation and I am completely addicted to the political process and the intrigue that surrounds it. I believe that America still holds enormous hope to influence the world in a great way -- but only if the church influences America in an even greater way.
But, I digress. No, I didn't leave the theater that evening inspired about American politics. I left the theater inspired about the work I do, the phenomenal, utterly life-changing, life-giving, nothing-more-important-than-this labor of love that I rise to undertake every single day. Nothing is more important that what I do.
No, I don't rise with excitement or even eager anticipation about it every day. In fact, some days I grow really weary of what can seem like a never-ending marathon to reach a goal that stretches out into infinity. I am wearied of the mundane tasks that eat up enormous chunks of my time, frustrated by the malaise I find in others and myself, and overwhelmed by this work of ultimate importance that so many seem to completely disregard. No, I am not always inspired - and certainly not inspiring - but when you believe in your gut that what you do is the most important thing anywhere, anytime, then you don't quit.
What is that work? I tell others about the love of God, expressed through His Son, Jesus Christ, when He died on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins and give us the opportunity to be in relationship with God, once again. Simply put, there is nothing more important in all the world than helping others understand this simple Truth. Some days I want to throw up my hands and go get a job in which I could work for someone else, let the buck stop on their desk, and simply add the bling to someone else's dream. But I'm just too lazy to stop!
I got started a long time ago, and I just can't stop! When I first started, I really didn't know just how important this work is, and the reality is that I'm pretty sure I'm still just beginning to understand the ultimacy of it. As I write this, I can feel the proverbial pat on the head from some of my friends, and the eye-roll from others. "There she goes again...she has to believe that everything in life is for a purpose and that her purpose is the most important in the world."
Yep. That's about it. I'm all absorbed in my life, and there's no way around that. I admit it. But you see, it's not really my life, at all. Years ago, I prayed a little prayer, giving up my rights to myself, and since then, I have taken that little prayer much deeper -- my life is no longer my own, it is Christ's. The life I live in this body I live by faith in Him -- the One Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
I love Him! Oh, He doesn't always do things the way I would like -- sometimes I think He's too slow, or indifferent, or preoccupied, or even callous and cold. But when you love Someone like this, you begin to realize pretty quickly that all of those feelings you have come from a very limited understanding of the One you love.
Just when you think He's too slow, you realize that He was just trying to hold you off long enough to show you that He had something much better in mind. And just when you thought He was indifferent, you feel the tremble of His passion in your heart. And when you think He is preoccupied, you see that He is trying to redirect your gaze to something higher. Or when you think that He is callous or cold or unkind or distant - well, then you realize that He is agonized by the restrictions He has put on Himself so that we could be free to choose Him or not. You realize that He is the mother throwing herself in front of the train to save her child; He is the soldier facing the foulest enemy to secure our freedom; He is the general, calling His army to be all they can be; He is the Savior Whose heart beats for us everywhere, at all times, in every circumstance.
I love Him! I've been at this a long time - telling others about Him - and sometimes my "sermon" gets a little too long. I'm just too lazy to stop!