Where are we leading this horse anyway?
Is there even time to stop and wonder? Or shall we just keep rushing ahead to who-knows-where? What counts in this race- effort, speed, attitude, trophies?
I am a finisher. I feel most successful after a job well done, heavy on the “done.” Completed tasks are a beautiful thing, aren’t they? A room, organized. A pie, baked. A garden, weeded. These are things that cause me to stand up tall, brush my hands off, smile a satisfied smile, and give myself permission to rest.
But my assigned jobs lately are never done, not in that way. Can you relate? Is your house ever clean enough? Are you organized enough? Are you physically fit enough? Have you children been loved enough? Have you prayed enough today? No, no, not even close, nope, and no.
Where are we leading this horse? And does it have to keep going at breakneck speed until we arrive at the end of the race, wherever that is? Can there be rest without guilt? Can we simplify our lives without failing someone or something?
Where is this horse taking us?
In church Sunday, my horse ran in to an electric fence. My aim was off, and I was convicted. After prayers for help, repentant feelings, and joy in God's grace, I returned home. And again, the work undone crowded in- the tasks, the kids, the noise. It crowded in so quickly I almost let it choke out the seeds that God had only just planted.
Do you feel that, too? The way the world and our flesh tries so hard to suffocate the life that God gives us?
You are aiming that horse in some direction. Do you know where? Have your muscles started to fatigue? Is your vision blurry? Do you rush forward into the fog, just to keep moving?
If we take no time to adjust our aim, than we will be directed by the standards of the world and the desires of our flesh. We will be pushed off course. It is certain. Sinners are guaranteed to lose their way if they do not constantly hold tight to the hand of the Lord.
He who has given life to us, gives us new life in Him. He who made us also forgives us and renews us. He who leads us also upholds us. How, then, shall we journey well? What does God want us to do with our days here?
“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (John 6:27-29)
Did you hear that, friends with jobs that will never be done? Did you notice the way God both scolds and invites us in this passage? He does not call us to better, more, faster, higher, harder work as our culture does. How often I fall to this, and try to seek rest in those things that perish? Instead, God invites us to rest- rest given as a gift. He is at the head of the table, serving us the food that endures to eternal life. “Take and eat,” He says. Sit down.
Do this work, this holy work: believe in Him who God has sent.
Believe. Feed your faith, knowing that faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God. Stop that horse, early and often, and feed on the words that give life. Let the God who serves do the serving. Let Christ our Leader direct your paths.
Receive: Will not He who gave you His own Son give you all things? He who poured out His blood for you will not withhold any good thing from His child's waiting hands.
Do not be deceived- this is work that He gives you. It is a battle against the world and your own flesh. You must fight for the time spent at His table. Do not let the things of this world squeeze you so tightly that you cannot open hands and mouth and heart and ears and receive from our God.
How do we journey well?
First, we cling to Jesus, we feed on His Word, we cling to life that is truly life. Then we break off pieces of what we receive to share with those around us.
Everything else-- the laundry, the dust bunnies, the homework assignments, the toned abs-- is just details.
Open our ears to Your Word and our hearts to Your love for us in Christ. Fill us Lord with your Spirit, with forgiveness and grace. Put your hand on the reins of our horses and guide us, ever keeping our eyes on You. Secure in Your love, let us then go forth with gratitude to attend to the details of loving our neighbor with the strength you provide. Amen.
"It is enough to get the love of God into your bones and to live as if you are forgiven. It is enough to care for each other, encourage each other, and wash the dishes." Chris Rice
This post is part 5 in a series on chaos and contentment- click below for the rest of the series.