7:30am Wednesday, December 13, 2017 – but only started then. Here I am on Christmas Eve, and I’m going to re-read, edit, and post this without filling it in.
Have you ever contemplated the meaning of life? Do you think I can sum it up in a single blog post? Nah, me neither. (Or is that “I neither”? How come we members of the grammar Gestapo say “Me neither” without pause, hmm?)
I confess, and not proudly, that daily devotions are not my strong suit. I wish they were. I do live in an awareness of God’s presence in my life. I desire to live my life to his glory – in word, thought, and deed. Periodically I’m successful in that.
Do – do – do. sitting here trying to bask in his presence, having read today’s Advent devotion about mystery by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and listening to Keith and Kristin Getty’s In Christ Alone. And yet a 100 things to DO are running through my head – the “this and that” of life that Bonhoeffer notes are present even in prison. All important stuff, for sure. But why can’t I drop them for a few minutes and have a cup of coffee with my Lord? Does my value-add come from the things that I do, or who I am? Or both?
Do I do the things I do so that I will be liked and appreciated? Well, yes. Don’t we all? Can anyone say that they don’t? How do we move away from that? How can we truly say that we desire to live only for God’s glory? I think recognition – “praise of man” – is a magnetic pole that draws us, but there is another power available to us, another pole – God’s Holy Spirit – that can take us into the mystery of self-less-ness. Elusive, yes, but entirely possible, and offered to us freely. As Tim Keller relates in a sermon on Romans 7, when we depend on the Holy Spirit’s presence in us, we are in a battle we cannot lose. Oh, Joy! And what a mystery. Without the Holy Spirit, we are slaves to the law in one way or another – trying to live up to it, or wishing it would go away and leave us alone – a battle we cannot win, like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.