before i studied my faith in any great detail, before i knew my worldview, before... when i tried to do this following jesus thing on my own with my own knowledge... it was like this...
there's this great big leafy apple tree, tall and strong with extensive branches that stretch out in graceful elegance. the leaves are big and green, the blossoms in the spring are beautiful, fragrant. when the apples come, they grow to be big and bold in appearance and your mouth starts watering just imagining their juicy taste, the crispness as your teeth break through the skin. YUM.
so i approach the apple tree, my eye on this delectable looking fruit hanging above me, juuust low enough that i can reach it. if i jump. many times. one time. i'll get it.
and finally that one time comes, i jump up into the air, extend my arm the furthest it's ever gone, and i pluck that apple from the tree. the way down is like slowmo... i close my eyes and shout for joy as i feel the apple enclosed within the grip of my two hands.
FINALLY! i've reached it!
my feet hit earth and my body swells with the pride of my accomplishment. so many jumps, so much effort, and now, finally, i've done it.
i unclasp my hands from around the apple. and stare into empty palms.
it's not there.
but i just...?
but i finally...?
i look at the tree, motionless beside me, and my eyes run up the bark of the trunk, up through the leaves and back to the place where i first spotted that juicy red apple that shouted my name.
and there is it.
right where it was. right where i left it. before i jumped and got it.
all that work, all those jumps, all that time and in an instant. it was gone.
does your christian walk ever feel like that? you strive, you work, you try with all your might to please the father, to finally do the right thing, get that achievement, be all you know you can be.
and yet you're not satisfied? it's not enough?
i know that struggle. i lived it for too long. i still live it sometimes when my eyes are off of truth and my worldview has shifted back to one of self. of me. of my achievement and my effort.
your life is not about you. jesus isn't saving you because of what you've done or didn't do, will do or could do. he came and died because he loves you - he died and rose for you, living the life you couldn't live - because HE is good enough. not you. you never will be.
you don't have to strive for that apple, because your arms are already full of more apples than you could ever need or want.
the question is, do you have eyes to see them?
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