Monday, December 13, 2010

Ready to dream again?

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Phillipians 3


There's something about these few verses that strike a cord somewhere in my heart. In the verses before this passage, Paul is speaking about how he has forsaken all other gains so that he can know Christ to the point of understanding his death, his resurrection, and his suffering. He's laid down everything in his life that's important for him, knowing that none of it is as important as what he can find in Christ.

I often find it difficult to understand Paul's unadulterated passionate sacrifice of everything he is to define himself as a follower and apostle of Jesus Christ. His whole life is about furthering the kingdom of God. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be able to be at that spot. But, I'd be lying if I said that I don't hold a lot of other things closer to me than I should; giving them more weighting and importance than they deserve.

I feel that often we feel that abandoning our lives to Christ means giving something up. It means giving up dreams, letting go of a certain relationship that's become comfortable, changing future plans to adopt something daunting and unsure. And we expect that doing that will leave us with less than we started. But, with Jesus it's just the opposite.

"I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me" -
It's that line that gets me everytime. Giving up myself in order to serve Jesus doesn't mean I'm losing something. It means I'm gaining so much more than I ever imagined. Giving up my so-called "perfect plans" because God has taken hold of me, and now I am to take hold of what he has stored away for me. That is adventure. That is exciting.

Even when I find myself in a purpose filled season in my life, it's crazy how those plans and dreams become less about his faithfulness, and will for my life, and so much more about me. I become selfish. It as if, the world revolves around me and what I'm doing at that point in time. Instead of, "I'm studying psychology because I feel that God has called me into that area", it becomes this rat-race of doing whatever I can to pursue that dream, regardless of other people, regardless of other goals. And I focus my attention on psychology (or any other aspiration I have), instead of keeping my gaze focused on Jesus - the One that's supposed to be leading me through the journey.

I should be pressing on - constantly focused on the One that got me this far in the first place, instead of pushing my way through day after day to finish something a goal that's become all about me.

This goes for anything in my life:
Music, songwriting, Psych, French, relationships.

What good are those God-inspired dreams anyways, if God's no longer the one inspiring you to keep going? Nothing.

I think it's in the letting go, that we get to that place. It's the trusting that is the hard part.
But I know in my heart, that what is in in God's heart for me, is what I want more than anything in this world.


1 comment:

Luke Anthony Sawczak said...

Amazing few verses. And a meaningful reflection on them. Paul often amazes me too, not to mention humbles me and my paltry enthusiasm.

I recently had an experience in line with your third paragraph. As I found out part of what Jesus means by "counting the cost", I wrote a line in a poem, "Sinning is easy; so is being good if you don't know what it requires". But he also says "Rejoice and be glad", and -- as you surmise in this post -- that part proves true, too. Even if not fully in this life.

Your second-last paragraph is very true too and reminds me of a quote by C.S. Lewis, "God cannot give us happiness outside of himself [when we ask for it], because there is no such thing."