Imagine this with me..
It’s the end of a long day and you have been working non-stop since you woke up that morning. It hits around 5pm and you feel that pain in your stomach and the loudest “whale-type” noise comes from your gut and it hits you… “I should probably eat something…” Now the thought is in your mind about food the lusting begins. Your mind quickly turns up an image of what you most desire. Suddenly its not hard to remember the greatest meal you’ve ever had and you’re craving it like a prisoner on Death Row.
Okay, well now that I have all of you slobbering like Pavlov’s dogs its time to think about some things.
This morning I woke up with a phone call from my sister who is struggling currently in school with being a girl who is “set-apart.” As we all know High School can be one of the best or worst experiences in your life. Some would love to go back and re-live the glory days but most of us could attest to never re-entering the awkward phase of your life. It’s a time where adulthood is beginning to pull at you and, depending on the “adults” you’re surrounded by, it can pull in different ways. Anyway, my sister is struggling with something I like to call “having your Christian turned on.” As many of us know we choose days where we are more “on” than others. If it’s Easter, Christmas, or even the beginning of a New Year when you promise to read the Bible everyday, we are considered turned “on.” (I know… Just go with it) However, it’s really hard to be “on” the whole time. Many days we need to be turned “off” so we can relieve the weight of the Christian life off our shoulders. And aren’t those days great?! No pressure to live up to the image of Christ and we can actually be ourselves!
Most of you can see where I’m going here… Being “turned on” with our Christian walk can seem exhausting when we look at ourselves. We look at our choices and our desires and our own hearts and it can disgust us because we know who Christ is. Looking in the mirror is when you’re most ugly. Of course this is a metaphor but it’s true. When we look into who we are it’s a scary place. I get tired of looking at myself and seeing this ugly person who has selfish desires and hates many things around her. But then I have to turn around and pretend that everything is good so that I can display the image of Christ to those who are struggling around me. I’m tired of it! I’m tired of being the pillar and the rock that so many rely on. I’m tired of having this Christian thing turned “on.” So, I turn it off. Now, I can really be free! I can talk how I want and I can believe what I want and forget about upholding these impossible ideals.
Now, its a couple days, weeks, months, or even years later and I’m ready to be turned back “on.” Here is where the guilt begins. As God convicts my heart, I call out in hurt and pain because of what I did to Him. I look at what I did to others, and I look at what I did to myself. But this time it’s going to be different! I’m going to stay turned “on” all the time and I’m going to live a life for Christ and I’m going to make sure that everyday I do the right thing! It’s going to be better this time… But then the same cycle starts back over.
Has anyone else ever felt this way? Have your thoughts ever been some of these? Well, these are and were my thoughts. The most intimate way to know me and my greatest struggle in my faith is right here. I never realized I was missing the entire picture.
That’s just it! Our walk and Christian life is a picture, not a mirror. Our life is moments of service to others and the King captured in His heart. We aren’t living this life to look back and see how our performance was. When we call ourselves to constantly look into the mirror and evaluate our own hearts, we will
some times always be disappointed. However, when we look outside the bubble we live in and see others we become a photographer looking to capture moments of service. The spotlight is no longer on us. We are no longer turned “on.” This life is not an exam with the right or wrong answers but rather a service project. Take comfort in the fact that you will always be wrong. That is a promise but when you look to the One who is always right, you cannot fail.
The title says it all. We must have an appetite for Christ. We must desire Him, and the change in our life will follow. When we focus on service to others and what we can do for His kingdom. We no longer have to be turned “on,” we start living. Crave service to Christ like you would your favorite meal.