Friday, February 17, 2006

Convergence

"I love it when a plan comes together!"

That's what Hannibal Smith (George Pappard)would say on The A-Team all the time. Just in case you were unfamiliar. Anyway, I felt a little bit of that today. And here's why:

1. About a week ago now I was in chapel and the the Bible reading was... well, it's escaped me now. Probably because the message wasn't quite what struck home to me. Instead, it was the reminder that the Christian life is NOT easy. It is hard. We are called to be disciplined, and that's not easy.

2. During the Wednesday night "Discipleship" Bible study I assist with at Allentown Pres, we'd read over the passage where Jesus talks about eating his body and drinking his blood (John 6:53) and what follows are many disciples proclaiming that the teaching is too difficult and then they turn away (John 6:60,66).

3. During the last little while, as I've constantly been neglecting to read the Bible and spending my time doing other, wasteful things, I keep hearing in my mind "the Christian life is not easy - it is hard" yet I still continue to do the wrong things and neglect the right things.

4. Today, after class, as I clarified my comments to Dr. Guder concerning visible and invisible unity of the Church, he remarked that it is really Christ (triune God) who is working to bring about this unity and the question should be, "what are we doing to obstruct this?". He went on to talk about a person who was struggling with Christian Disciplines, but recognzied there were things God was saying not to do - and he was told to start there!

Now, maybe you're not seeing this, but here's where I'm ending up - I think I was that guy Dr. Guder was talking about... ok, not exactly, but pretty much. When he said it, I felt a little odd, like he was speaking direclty to my situation. Yes, the Christian life is hard. Yes, it requires discipline. No, not legalism, but yes, discipline. And I am one of the least disciplined people I know. I don't know why... no, I do. It's exactly where Dr. Guder ended up - it's not about the things I'm not doing (well, maybe a little) but more about the things that I AM doing. I mean, I'm awake for nearly 18hrs a day, like everyone else. I have a fairly good amount of control over how I spend that time. Yet I'm constantly amazed at how many other people are getting more done - are more productive - even those that have more to do than I do.

I can't chalk it up to having a baby - this has gone on long before Brennan's arrival. No, I've been feeling it for awhile. I've been wasting my time, putting up barriers to God using me to my fullest potential. And that's where this is converging at. If I'm to be disciplined, to follow the teachings of Christ, to live them out, I need to be willing to sacrifice my wants, my desires, my way of spending my time. That is the greatest gift I can give and the ultimate way to accept the Lordship of Christ in my life. Now, if only I could call in the A-Team to get the job done...

1 comment:

theonegoing said...

I think that it is time to fire up NCAA 06 football again. Do I hear Michigan vs. Ohio State rematch??

Just kidding, that would kill off any beginnings of discipline in your life.

Your observations are true. I like how you said "discipline, not legalism." Many of the Christians that I have known over the years have resisted legalism to the point of avoiding discipleship. Bonhoffer has many strong words against that in Discipleship...

Thanks for your reminder of the difficult nature of the Christian life. I am feeling that right now too as I try to do the same things you are doing while still having friends from Virginia calling me to play Halo 2 on XBox!!!