1/23/2007

THOSE WHO WERE ONCE IGNORED

I am learning a lot about many different people, these days. I think it comes from knowing that I am okay with God, without having to do anything. I find myself listening to people more, or paying attention to their needs or complaints; especially those whom I normally either ignored or disliked.

I am admitting something here. It is true, I reserved myself from others, and worst of all, judged them to be not worthy of my time. Why did I do that? I haven't really thought about it much, but I'd bet it had something to do with feeling as if I was competing with them for something. And maybe that something was Father's attention. Maybe not. But when you live believing that you did something to earn your redemption, I think subconsciously, you also believe that you have to keep earning that redemption; as if you have to prove it over and over.

Maybe that's' not it, either. Maybe it's not redemption we feel we have to earn, but approval, because God is our Father, and we so desperately want our father's approval. So we don't relax and believe we have it; instead, we act out our insecurity by trying to be good, and by trying to stay away from what we believe is bad. Maybe we figure if we do that, we'll always keep Daddy near, and evil far away.

But that doesn't work either, and we know it doesn't deep down, because we never relax in our Father's glory. We never just live out our lives accepting that God loves us. Oh, we might say we believe God loves us, but do we really believe it? "Hey, look, He sent His son to die for us. Now that's love!"

Maybe it is.

But maybe the kind of love we miss is the love God gives us which allows us to be ourselves, complete with all our "sins" and problems. I don't know too many people who claim to be Christians who aren't concerned that they currently do something that is "wrong", and might possibly hurt their relationship with God. What kind of freedom is that?

Love is not a prison, and it's also not a self-help diary. Love is the gasoline that fuels your car. It's the rocket fuel that sends us to the moon. Love is the energy, the fuel that propels us to freedom, and in that freedom, to the possibility of greatness.

Have you ever heard someone say, "I love her so much that I couldn't do without her?" That's not love, that's a possession, and what do we do with possessions? We lock them up so we don't lose them. But love sets us free, and instead of binding us to a set of do's and don't's, it allows us room to make mistakes, and achieve success.

It is said our transgressions were nailed to the cross. If we delve into that, we could also say the Law was nailed to the cross; and if that is so, then what set of rules could we ever keep that would show God we loved Him?

I think the best way to show our love for God is to race with the fuel of freedom He gave us, instead of trying to put a governor on the throttle. Finally being able to relax in this kind of life opens our ears, our minds, and then our hearts to people we ignored before. We are more now than we were before, and I think somehow, we recognize that there is no need to compete for Father's attention. Somehow, we know we have it, because we realize that we live in it, and in Him.

You don't have to go anywhere to find God. And He doesn't have to go anywhere to find you. Realizing that is to our salvation.

4 comments:

don R said...

Nice post Tom. I am everyday finding more to this "love" thing which I seem to think that I have down pat. It is as endless as the depth of Him within us and we in Him. I have discovered that I have gone thru 60 years of my life living and experiencing only the surface, the thin veneer of life. There is so, so, much more to experience below that surface. I thank God that He has given me the freedom to finally plunge below the surface. Amazingly, I can breathe much better there than I ever could above or on the surface.

Tom Reindl said...

Don, I like your analogy about breathing better beneath the surface than at the surface. Thanks

SteveW said...

"You don't have to go anywhere to find God.".....He isn't lost

"And He doesn't have to go anywhere to find you."....'cause Christ came to seek and to save the lost and He did not fail so we aren't lost either.

"Realizing that is to our salvation." .....You got that right my friend!!!

Tom Reindl said...

Steve,

And to make sure we stay "found", He lives IN US! AMEN!!