Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Friday, November 02, 2012

Sometimes... Joy!

I fell to my knees, on the floor of my van, while cleaning the mats this morning. While down there, I noticed a tiny sand crab scurry under the seat. Somehow, since our visit to the beach a month ago, this little guy has found enough to live on in the confines of my Chrysler.

Imagine the life this little crab has had, living on the crumbs generated by my three kids. They get in and out twice a day, most days. School drop off. School pickup. Church on Saturdays. They occasionally have snacks while we drive. Very occasionally. And yet, our crab-friend lives.

I wonder if this solitary little crab ever misses the seaside social life. Does he long for the sand and the surf? There’s a bit of sand built up in the holes where the seats lock into the frame of the car. Not much, but a bit. There is no salt water. He's making the best of it.

And I only noticed him because I fell.

Sometimes we get up too quickly.

On Facebook, this morning, a friend of mine posted an anonymous quote: "Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid of standing still." My first thought was how very much I have enjoyed my "standing still" over the past month. "Stillness is Wonderful" was my post in reply.

We are taught that being busy means we are successful.

“If you want something done, ask a busy person.” ...

“How have you been?” … “Busy. Real busy!” … “That’s good.”

I’m waiting for brain surgery. I have a slow-growing benign tumour. The longer I wait for my upcoming surgery the more I enjoy being quiet and not-busy. Many people have suggested I must be thrilled to have all this time—“to write another book”... Nope... No book. But, yes, I am very much enjoying the time!

At meetings last week, a church-growth guru, Brendan Pratt, shared a very interesting talk on Consumerism. The equation he shared, by which the western world motivates her people to continue the busy-life is: “Time=Money=Stuff=Happiness” — And we all want to be happy, right?

My glib reply (because, when there’s a laugh to be had, I often speak without thinking) was, “Happiness is overrated.” And, of course, I was wrong.

The Apostle Paul (1 Thessalonians 5:16) suggests we should be joyful all of the time, no matter our circumstance. Nehemiah told the people in his day, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” His equation might look like: “Time=Worship=Strength=Joy”. The focus of your worship, in this paradigm, has a direct impact on your strength and joy.

Time plods along. We are unable to stop it, slow it down, speed it up or get it back. We can’t change time, but we can change where we focus our “worth-ship”.

What is worthy of your time? We all have our list, mostly unwritten.

It may be our children.

It may be our work.

It may be our appearance.

It may be our spouse.

It may be our entertainment.

It may be our search for a laugh.

Whatever the case, what we value will receive our time. This is worship. In worthy moments, our time-spent gives us strength and joy. The rest of the time, our strength and joy are drained from us.

It’s all about where we sit and what we have set before us. Hebrews 12:2 declares that Jesus was joyful on the cross, not because of the cross but because of what He saw “set before Him.”

Jesus saw a Kingdom where relationships were reconciled.

He saw God.

He saw us.

And He saw eternity - with us and God, together.

And, for Jesus, that was worth dying for. Jesus told Peter He could call 10,000 angels to his aid, if He needed help. Put your sword away, Peter. Always so busy, solving God’s problems!

Jesus, for the joy set before Him, endured the Cross. He stayed down. Do, you know what made it worth it for Him? Do you know what was set before Jesus, so clearly, that He gripped those nails and held on for dear death?

You.

Little (scurrying around searching for crumbs of happiness) You.

Jesus stayed down for you.

Because God is Love.

And to Him, you are worth it.


Sometimes we get up too quickly.