Christmas vacation gives me too much time to think, or maybe just enough. They say self examination is undervalued. Checking the growth chart every now and then is helpful. Checking to make sure you’re not stagnate, or worse going backwards. I suppose that’s why we have new years resolutions after Christmas and advent- after we’ve hopefully had time to quiet our hearts and think. But I digress. I’ve been pondering, and an ugly word has come to the forefront. A word I don’t associate with much enjoyment, or good times: obedience. I say I don’t like change, but I think I like rules less. I don’t think of them as bringing freedom, joy, and peace…well maybe peace, but half the time I would prefer chaos anyways. I’m selfish; I don’t like restrictions on free will.
I guess the thinking all started with a book. (So many journeys start that way.) A book about a muslim woman’s conversion to Christianity. The way she prased it hit hard because it was so different from the things I had heard before. She said she kept finding that when she didn’t obey God the ‘glory of His prescence’ went away. I kept nodding my head, and wholehearted agreement because I know the feeling she was describing. It’s easier to obey the flesh and recieve what little immediate gratification there is. The old creature sees things as better that way until time goes by, and the emptiness creeps in. Then it’s repentance or die. I need the light, but it’s easier to fight back. I like fighting. It’s so much more difficult to turn the other cheek. But delayed gratification fills me when I obey “Vengance is mine…”
It’s really harder to fight with the flesh. It’s really worse when I disobey. Selfishness leaves me with many things hoarded, but nothing gained, with no hope to satisfy my soul. With too much time to think maybe I’ll transfer that head knowledge to heart knowledge, and those words to action. It’s so much easier to write things out than do them. Words are cheap, and faith without works is dead. Obedience to God is more than just reciporication…it’s not out of guilt, but love.
This is the meat of discipleship, I think. It’s not always easy to swallow, but it fills beyond fickle feelings, and spiritual highs. Have you learned anything in the silence between Christmas and routine’s return? If so, please share, and if not there’s still tomorrow, so use it while it’s there. There’s still more Christmas vacation so I’ll keep thinking too. Maybe I’ll find more truths that are hard to swallow, and facts to transfer to my heart.