Monday, May 07, 2007

The complexity simplicity of the Gospel

There is a company that we hire for, that requires all potential employees to first pass a math test before they go to work. It's nothing overly complicated, just rounding decimals and a few other things like that. The moment we mention a math test though, at least 75% of our applicants ask about what other companies we have available that don't require a math test. And I spend a good deal of time reassuring them that the test isn't that hard, and I can talk them through it.

So far, I've only had two people not pass. The first was a guy that had a friend who was supervisor at the company and he was convinced that he'd still get the job whether he passed the test or not and no amount of us telling him otherwise would convince him. So he went ahead and walked out on the test. Sure enough, he hounded his friend to have us hire him anyway, and was given the standard answer "you must pass the test first". Unfortunately by then, we had had to tell the company why the expected employee hadn't started work, and they didn't like that he'd walked out on the test, and so they told us not to have him retake the test.

The other guy, really was a bright guy. He just got frustrated too easily and once he got frustrated he couldn't be taught anything else. It went downhill until finally he just said he was stupid, and couldn't do it, and walked out.

One of the main things I tell these guys when I first sit down with the scratch paper and pen is that what we're doing is really very simple and then as I show them what we're doing, at some point everything just 'clicks' and they suddenly get it. I've seen that moment so many times, and every time it just thrills me. As I point to our scratch paper and ask my questions, the answers come with a different tone in the persons voice. You can tell just by the tone that understanding has sunk in. They're getting it. It's exciting, and really rewarding.

And now, here I sit, having struggled with trying to get more of God. Sometimes I got tired of trying and wanted to give up trying for more of God. I tell myself that I am already saved and getting closer to God is just "better" but, should I stop trying, it's not like it would cost me heaven or anything, right? Other times, I just get frustrated. It feels like all these spiritual people get things that I just don't get, and no matter how hard I try I'm just never going to be "spiritual enough" to get some concepts, so I might as well stop struggling.

I don't know when my 'click' came, but something changed last week that left me scratching my head wondering why I had made this so difficult. You want to know God better? Pray, tell Him you want to know Him better. Read the Bible, and get to know Him better that way. Spend time practicing your faith, believing for the impossible and expecting it, whether in your lifetime or not. As I'm reading through 1 & 2 Chronicles right now, it's easy to see that a lot of Gods promises didn't come to pass in the lifetime of the people He promised them to.

If you're tired, rest. If you're worried, take your burden to God and leave it there. If you keep picking that burden up, then keep taking it back only returning also with prayers that He would help you leave that burden with the only one who has control over the situation. If you have sins in your life, ask Him to forgive you.

I've got a particular sin in my life, of despising a man that attends my church. When he sinned against me, I ran away and hid. And now, I am clueless as to how to attempt to act as Christ would towards this man, without giving him the impression that what his actions were not inappropriate.

But even this sin, I see it and I want it gone, but without knowing how to act on it, I'm willing to satisfy myself with telling God that I'm willing and asking Him to show me a way. And that means that I'm not going to whine and moan over the situation as I've been doing, but simply know that with Gods help, and in Gods time, a way will be provided. Only catch is, when He does provide a way, I need to act on it.

I've always liked concrete answers. I would have loved living in the Old Testament times just because things were pretty cut and dry. Kill 2 lambs, pour blood here, give priest xyz portion, go home and wait for such and such day then repeat. So the idea of seeking God coming from doing what I'm already doing, seems foolish. But I'm not doing what I've always done. I'm seeking God more. I'm spending more time in prayer, more time reading His word, less time worrying about things that I'm suppose to give to God, and more time trying to simply follow what He wants me to do.

Being like Christ isn't complicated. I'd like to make it so, because that certainly gives me excuse to fail. But the truth of the matter seems to be that I'll never wake up and suddenly shout, "I'm like Christ!". But I can be like Christ at 3:12pm, 3:13pm, 3:14pm and so on. I don't need to wait for a year without mistakes or flaws. I don't even need to wait for an hour without mistakes or flaws. I just need to keep trying for this minute, and pray I keep on the minute after.

I made this too hard. I'm sure I'll get confused again later on, I'm sure I'll struggle to understand the simple concept of Christ. I'm sure I'll want to give up again. But not this minute.

And that makes me happy. :)


One Sided said...

This lesson is a foudation building block. Secure it in with your other unshakable beliefs.

flyawaynet said...

I agree. And I will do just what you suggest.