Articles

Making It Count

In The Journey on July 5, 2011 by scottsund

The view from my office at dawn

This is my view each morning as I rise at 3:15am and head down to the office of where I work.  My job is basically general manager so I ensure coffee is made for all the fishing boats and plans have been made for the day.  By 4am the guides and chef and server have arrived for breakfast and I help coordinate efforts as everyone does their own job.  We wake up our guests at quarter after 4 and get them fishing by 5.  And the rest of my day is full of hosting people, leading the staff, buying supplies, paying bills, raking yards, etc.  My job up here isn’t terribly difficult or terribly physical but it is difficult at times working 17 or 18 hours a day and staying calm as problems arise.  The older I get, the more I realize that everyone’s jobs are enviable from the outside but at some level, there is a measure of hard work and follow through that allows everyone to continue doing the work that they’ve stepped into.

Recently a friend asked, “How do I know what I should be doing with my life?”  That is a powerful question and some would argue, one that can often lead to much MOTION, but  not much MOVEMENT.   I would counter-argue that often it is learning to ask the right questions that can move our lives forward in any one direction.  But let me explain motion versus movement….

A friend in California told me lately when recounting how things were going at his job, “You know…everyone’s working hard and there’s lots of chaos around the office but its like its ALL MOTION and NO MOVEMENT.”  I absolutely love that mental image because often can feel just like that….we get so busy moving around trying to “do something” with our lives we end up living differently than who God created us to be.  And when we’re off on our own, functioning outside a relationship  with the Creator God who formed us, our lives have very little forward motion into the new creations that God longs to make us into.  In essence, we can’t be MOVED towards a fuller picture of who God wants us to be unless we cease with our restless motion and let God move through us.

Sounds good right?  Follow God and not just your own instincts?  More movement and less motion?  “BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN SCOTT? “  What it means is this:  begin with the end in mind…what gives your life purpose?  What gives your life joy?   30 years from now, what is the legacy you can depend on?  It is a relationship with God and a life lived in service to the King that impacts His Kingdom.

At times, I get tired of the words “Kingdom of God.”  Yes Jesus taught on the Kingdom and all summer we’re studying the Upside Down Kingdom at church that Jesus taught on during the Sermon on the Mount.  But my fear with the word “Kingdom” is it is almost too old school.  People want to get back to how it “used to be” in the Kingdom and if I only lived back then, as a gardener or a blacksmith or a cobbler and I lived in the shadow of the great High King things would be so much simpler.  “I could be a better Christian if I didn’t have to live in this difficult and confusing and sinful world of today.”  Rubbish.  All Jesus is talking about when He says Kingdom is living in a New Community where your love of God changes how you actually live here on earth.  In this new community people have real jobs and real problems and real difficulties and real joys.  But in the act of living out the commands of Jesus we turn our love and adoration for Him and turn it on His creation…the new community of people that we live around.  We are transformed by God’s love and enabled to powerfully change the world around us in radical ways we could never do on our own. 

We like to think of our faith as an event or a church service or a particular moment.  “When I prayed today for 5 minutes I was with God.”  “When I read my bible then God was smiling on me. “ “But the rest of my day I spent alone.I do not believe this is how it works.  When we’re reconciled to God and an agent for His New Community, we go as His people, He moves through us and allows us to be filled with His spirit.  This was one of Christ’s last gifts on earth, the gift of His presence through the Holy Sprit.  At the end of John, Jesus comes back to life after death and visits the disciples.  His words?  PEACE BE WITH YOU….and then he breathed on them.  Literally. Whooohhh.  Jesus breathed on the people that loved Him.  And He said, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.  Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of others, they will be forgiven.  If you retain the sins of others, they will be retained.”  Jesus commissions us with His breath into the great journey of following Him.  We live as His people, in a New Community, working for change here and now on earth, making an impact on the lives of others.

This isn’t a particularly fast process.  This doesn’t happen overnight.  This isn’t a quick event we prepare for.  This is day-by-day, step by step, stone by stone, stepping into God’s story.  Slowly becoming God’s people.  Slowly bringing others along with us as we live intentionality within the New Community of faith.  Where lives start to experience MOVEMENT and not just MOTION.   Where joy arises, and hope lives, because people are living for something greater than just themselves.  This is when you start making it count.  Every day.  Every moment.  Though the journey may get long and difficult and situations arise.  At the end of your life, whether that occurs in 20 years or 100, you will look back of life lived in service to a King, see the lives you affected as you served Him and lived out his calling to be a NEW COMMUNITY of faith, and know that your life counted.

I’m clinging to this hope this morning.  Blessings be with you.

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