Where I live, school children are currently on holidays. They are everywhere, like grains of sand swirling around in a strong wind. And like grains of sand, they seem to get anywhere and everywhere, and the discomfort they can cause is also similar to grains of sand, as any beach goer will know.
Recently I have witnessed several amusing episodes of children throwing fits in shopping centres because they can't have what they are screaming for, while their poor bedraggled mothers stare upwards red faced and embarrassed seeking either divine help or hoping to turn invisible. Of course, the inept social engineers have now made it a crime to smack or even scold, so the parents of such monsters have to resort to bribery, trickery, hapless smiles or simply just resign themselves to a migraine.
The miniature perpetrators of course fear none of this, and scream even louder till in order to avoid eviction, the parents usually give in with a mutually agreed upon slight reduction in the child's demands, just to retain a transparent veil of authority over their loud lunged offspring.
As Christians however, we find God has not been got at by the fools the world puts forward as smart, and He not only does not bow to our demands, but also takes the rod of correction to us as well. We can demand healing, prosperity, spiritual gifts, signs and wonders and whatever, till we tear all the relevant verses out of the bible, but God will take no heed.
He will instead, if our hearts are actually in the right place to begin with, discipline, shape, purge, bend and twist us till we are no longer like the miniature loud lunged perpetrators of shopping centre mayhem, but instead, we are selfless, humble, quiet, faith filled givers of ourselves and our resources to others. So next time we get through demanding this and that from God, we may as well assume the position and bend over because........
correction is afoot!
This week, I had my bottom anti-fouled. No, it's not related to the BOIL I spoke of last week. "Then what are you talking about", I hear you enquire. Well, till a month or so ago, I didn't know what anti-fouling was either. I would have thought it was perhaps something to do with animal rights, or perhaps a misdemeanour during a team game.
But no, tis a nautical term referring to the practice of painting the bottom of a boat with special paint that slows down the build up of barnacles and weeds on the hull that reduce the boat's speed through the water and generally cause it to be sluggish and perform badly. It is particularly a problem with boats that are kept in the water at one place for long periods of time without being used a lot.
Strikes me that a lot of us Christians need our spiritual bottoms anti-fouled regularly. Why? Because we reach a certain growth point in our Christian walk, and then we begin to lose our enthusiasm for one reason or another. We stagnate, and we begin to collect barnacles on ourselves. Barnacles of envy, covetousness, surfeiting, ingratitude, worry, love of money and ambition, just to mention a few. Our Christian walk slows to a crawl. Serving God becomes a real chore. Our performance as a disciple of Jesus suffers and we find ourselves almost becalmed.
We should learn to recognise the symptoms, learn to discern our spiritual walk and be aware of our effectiveness as followers of our Lord and Saviour.
We should in fact, regularly, and in private of course.......
look to our bottoms.
( my two cents worth.... Keygar )
One, None and a Hundred-thousand, by Luigi Pirandello, free ebook
One of the most visited pages on RAPTURE NOTES is "crowns". It seems many Christians are preoccupied with what rewards and crowns they might get in heaven. To me, it's an attitude of covetousness that borders on replicating the materialism that rules particularly western society here on earth. Jesus definitely says that we should concentrate on serving Him and thereby accumulate results and rewards of an eternal value, but He emphasises that the main reason for doing so is that heavenly treasures don't depreciate or get stolen as they do on earth.
But I fear many Christian's carnal nature kicks in (and yes, I include myself here), and we begin to lust after our possible eternal rewards and positions rather than serving Christ out of love and appreciation. We don't deserve redemption, let alone rewards.
When my children were little, sometimes they would come home with a picture or a drawing or something they had made for me in school, and eagerly they would give it to me, with their first attempts at writing across the top struggling to say "I love you daddy" in smudged crayon. I still have such pictures. Why, because those drawings were motivated by pure and simple love. Later, when teenagers, they would give me something or say something that was an obvious "con" job to get something out of me, money or a lift to a friend's house or whatever. I could see through them straight away and responded accordingly. Do we not think Jesus, who designed us, can see through us? You bet He can, and does, and will.
Let's not get obsessed about eternal rewards, crowns, and positions in God's kingdom we may attain. That's God's business and we couldn't begin to understand His thought processes in these areas as to who gets what and who does what in eternity. Learn from a couple of the disciples who asked Christ if they could sit next to Him in heaven. They were diplomatically told to "mind their own business".
Occasionally, let's just look into our hearts and reappraise our motives.
(my two cents worth..... Keygar)