Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Not my will, but yours, be done

When I was an agnostic, I was pretty much the center of my story.

A truth: You don't need to be a Christian to have a cause. Without thinking of God, I still gave to charities that I liked. I volunteered each week at a charity store for years. I made sure to get my pets from a rescue shelter. I shed tears for victims of tornadoes and famine. I had groups in society I liked to champion: the underdog, usually. The people who are overlooked.

I used to love doing those things because 'Good Deeds' aren't the sole property of Christians.

But I was still the center of my story. I got a pat on the back for doing good. And I had a line in the sand. A big thick line between what I would and would not do. Who I would and would not help.

Don't get me wrong: I still have a line in the sand. But God is helping me blur the line, smooth it out so there's no distinction between what I will do and what I should do. 

Having God helps us go that one step further. Then one more. You see, God calls us to love and pray for our enemies too, not just our friends and neighbors or the underdog!  It's not the easiest thing in the world, loving those we don't like, or those who do much wrong. It's not easy at all.

Source unknown

In the book of Luke, when Jesus was in the garden shortly before His arrest, He prayed to the Father. He knew the sacrifice He was about to make. He knew the plan all along, and He was ready for the torture and horror that His sacrifice would be. Yet, as He was also fully human, He looked to the Father for an option.  

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”  Luke 22:42
In His anguish Jesus sweat blood. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.

Often we don't want to consider what God is asking of us. It's too hard, too uncomfortable, too much like someone else's problem. But Jesus was here to tackle our problems. Our writhing, steaming mess of sin. For a moment, He asked the Father to perhaps reconsider the plan, all the while saying 'I will still do whatever you ask of me.'

Even as a Christ-follower, I fall into my human heart; I become the center of my story all too often. One thing I have learned is that when I start my days with God in the center - through bible reading, listening to worship music or a sermon on the radio, it reminds me that I am not the star of my story. It is, and always was, about Jesus Christ.

When the most important Being in the universe is at the front of my mind and all my thoughts, it makes it so much easier to be humble. To put someone else first. To hold my tongue when I am irritated. To help someone I might not even like. To pray for someone who took it all from me. To expect nothing back. To remember that when my will clashes with the Lord's, that I need to let mine go and pray to do His will instead.

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