Monday, October 11, 2010

Going through to motions

“This is stupid, it's not like we're moving now. Why do I have to pack up all MY stuff? You're not having to get rid of anything.”

My sixteen year old son, Jordan, is clearly thrilled about preparing for our family move. If you've ever sold a house you know all the prep work that needs to take place to make the house 'show ready'. Step one: clean his closet. Step two: dust his furniture. Step three: start making his bed every morning. That's it! Three easy steps.

In the mind of a sixteen year old boy, here's how those steps are apparently interpreted. Step one: take everything you hold dear and angrily shove it into boxes until the closet is empty. Step two: ignore step two because you did it two weeks ago and think it looks 'fine'. Step three: begin living in prison where a quarter will be dropped on your bed daily to see if it will bounce.

When his eyes glassed over and he switched to auto pilot to just get it done, Greg and I stepped in for a heart to heart talk. The issue may not be resolved but at least it makes a little more sense in Jordan's mind.

I went to bed last night thinking about all the times that I have reacted just like Jordan. God will give me instructions and I will mindlessly do what He's asked. And that's only when I finally get around to doing it. God provides limited information to support His request, I just have to be obedient and do it. But like every good parent, God doesn't just want me to go through the motions, He wants me to be engaged in what I'm doing. God's not required to make sure His instructions make sense to me, I have to have faith that there is a greater purpose behind the action.

Giving God a ½ way effort is the same as flat out defying Him. He expects the task to be done in a certain way, not until I feel it's 'good enough'. My standards aren't even close to God's standards. When He asks for me to give someone my coat, He expects me to offer them my shoes as well. When I think of giving someone my coat, I offer the one I wear the least or didn't like very much. I don't even think about offering my shoes too, I just gave them my coat for goodness sake! Sound familiar?

All to often my first step in obedience will be to count the cost. What does this cost me to do? Time? Money? Energy? None of which I have in abundance. So why is God taking from me to give to someone else? Ever had that conversation?

Sometimes God demands a reoccurring obedience. He wants a certain discipline to materialize in me. Just like the daily making of the bed, God wants me to prepare myself for the day ahead. Engage my mind and heart into His plan and instructions instead of rolling out of bed and rolling with the punches. Ever had to face that type of obedience?

God expects obedience but He blesses engagement. Have your eyes glassed over as you are going through the motions? Has God instructed you to do something that you're giving a ½ way effort? Are you obedient to what God says but just enough to get by? Or not even doing it at all because it doesn't make sense in your mind? Stop! That's not what God's asking you for. When you fully engage in the task at hand God has a blessing for you and others. Trust me, you won't see it through glassy eyes...

Be blessed,

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good” Titus 3:1


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