Friday, June 25, 2010

"Then" Is "Now" !!

I've been doing it again. The old "if only" game. "If only" I didn't have to work. "If only" I had more time. THEN I would do all these great and marvelous things. Like write a book, sew up a storm, have a huge garden and make preserves, visit all my friends, spend more time with my grandchildren..............the list goes on.

So, after wallowing around in the "if only" puddle for a while, I move on to the "then" game. OK, so I can't retire just yet. Won't likely be moving to that little house in the country for a few years. But when I retire, "then" I will begin to do those wonderful things. "Then" I will be content. "Then" I will accomplish great things for God. Right now, I can't. Oh really? Right now, I just don't have the time or the energy. Is that so? I will just have to tough it out, grit my teeth and plough through. I will just have to "sacrifice" my time to my job, knowing that it's only when I retire that I can get anything of value accomplished. "Then" it will all happen. Right?

The next stage in the process is this: I start listening to my thoughts, and taking a gander at my attitude, and say to myself, hold it. Wait a minute. Who do you think you are? God has all your days arranged for you. You were placed here for His glory. Don't you think He can squeeze some good, some lasting results out of each day, even when you aren't "living the dream" up in Bancroft? This is the point where I chide myself for ingratitude, and for questioning God's plan for my life. Why do I think that all should go according to my plans? How could I imagine that God is not present in everything, each day, and is at work, even though I can't see it?
I want to have an attitude of gratitude. I want to wake up every day, expecting great things of God, exited about what He might have in store for me. I don't want to waste precious time longing for something that might not even come to pass. I don't know the future. Only He does. My place, and your place, is to wait on Him, and be faithful, in the moment. In the "now", because the "then" might not show up. All we have is now, and He is in it.
Dear Lord, teach me to wait on You, to learn contentment. You have the wisest plan, and I am like an impatient child. Help me to see Your hand in the stuff of everyday, and remember that to you, a thousand years is like a day, and a day is like a thousand years. My times are in Your hand.


Anonymous said...

“You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9

You and I are not integrated, unified, whole persons. Our hearts are multi-divided. There is a board room in every heart. Big table. Leather chairs. Coffee. Bottled water. Whiteboard. A committee sits around the table. There is the social self, the private self, the work self, the sexual self, the recreational self, the religious self, and others. The committee is arguing and debating and voting. Constantly agitated and upset. Rarely can they come to a unanimous, wholehearted decision. We tell ourselves we’re this way because we’re so busy with so many responsibilities. The truth is, we’re just divided, unfocused, hesitant, unfree.

That kind of person can “accept Jesus” in either of two ways. One way is to invite him onto the committee. Give him a vote too. But then he becomes just one more complication. The other way to “accept Jesus” is to say to him, “My life isn’t working. Please come in and fire my committee, every last one of them. I hand myself over to you. Please run my whole life for me.” That is not complication; that is salvation.

“Accepting Jesus” is not just adding Jesus. It is also subtracting the idols.

Maureen said...

Absolutely Anon. Idols of the heart. Constantly raising themselves up. Praise God that we can say, as Paul did:
"Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin." Romans 7:24,25)

Anonymous said...

Thank God, Romans 8 comes next!

Dena Dyer said...

Maureen, I love this post. I really needed to hear it today, too. I get ahead of God, and start to think, "if only" way too much. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the moments, knowing that He has designed each one!