Monday, January 03, 2011

Giving Up

By Belinda

So here we are three days in already to a brand new year and I haven't written one thing about goals for this or that area of my life. I'm not sure why that's the case.

I remember committing myself in previous years to getting more sleep. Since going to the sleep clinic last year, and resolving my problem with sleep apnea, my only problem seems to be getting out of bed! I am getting a good 7 or 8 hours a night and loving it. So no, I don't need more sleep, although I could do a better job of getting to bed on time.

Exercise? Well, my golden personal trainer gives me lots of encouragement and motivation in that department--at least to keep walking. But I do have a set of weights that I know I could use to develop more upper body strength and my friend Dave wrote a very funny blog post today at Rolling Around in My Head that reminded me of the importance of this. Besides I would love to have toned arms instead of "bingo wings" that wave in the wind when I raise me arms.

But maybe the real reason I haven't focused so much on goals in the way I normally do, this year, is that I really have only one, and it's big enough to keep me busy every day for the rest of my life.

Let me explain a little before blurting it out, or at least let me try. I've become convinced that there is more to this journey with Christ than I have lived out fully. Of course that will always be true, but I'm running out of time to lay hold of it, so that's what I want to do. I've nibbled at the edges of understanding but I want to not just "get it" mentally, but live out daily, a moving aside of self in order for Jesus to live out the new creature life in me, that is the second great blessing of faith.

Most of us who are believers have a solid understanding that we are reconciled to God through the sacrificial death of Christ in our place. We begin with joy, a new life and relationship with Christ at the point of believing in and accepting by faith, his sacrifice in our place. But then what?  We begin to learn new ways and standards of behaviour but we also learn experientially that it is impossible to keep them. So we can get stuck in confession, repentance, even self loathing (I have not gone that far myself!:))

I believe that God calls us to something higher and that what a cynical, sceptical world needs to see are people in whom the beautiful simplicity of Jesus's life can be seen, in contrast to a materialistic, self absorbed culture.

I absolutely know that is impossible if it's up to us. But we do have a part to play in the possibility of that coming true in our lives. Our part is the daily will to move aside for him.

I believe that as we daily say "Yes" to God's life in us, and believe that it is possible that he wants to and will, live in us and through us, we will begin an exciting new adventure such as we have not yet experienced.

The truth is, his word says that "I" died "in him" on the cross. I don't live like that is true because I am not claiming that truth by faith in the same way that I claim the first truth that he died "for" me.

I want to "press in" to; "lay hold" of; and "stand firm" in, that great truth. It is so easy to lose it because there is a gravitational pull towards what we are familiar with: self effort--trying harder--failing--repenting--trying again. So if this is the year of giving up anything, I want to give up trying, and allow God to be God in me.

That's all.

6 comments:

Olson Family said...

Oh bravo! Hurrah! Amen!! Yes, me, too, Sister! Me, too. Last night we had friends over for dinner and they shared story after story of God-sized experiences in their lives. By the time they left I wanted to shout from the mountain-top, "God, I want to experience a life-long dance with You like THAT!"

Thank you for sharing your heart through your writing -- I am so inspired by you and relish that I get to go on the journey with you through your blog!

Abundant blessings, dear friend!

Susan said...

Me too. I quit!

Let the chips fall where they may. :)

Angcat said...

I'm 'Amening' too.

Belinda said...

Dear Friends,
I am smiling at the fact that what I've inspired people to do is "give up." There is something very funny about that. But seriously, I think that God is smiling too!

What a very good way to go into this new year.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Susan, can I have your chips? Belinda, we've really got to have a long chat with the 'die to self' concept. I'm not sure I get it. I get being true to self and being authentical and giving life to 'me-ness' in God. I just don't get death of self - so can you help me with this?

Marian said...

Amen! I want to be a living sacrifice. I want to do Whatever He Says.