Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What's wrong with trying?

I've heard a lot of emphasis on how Christianity isn't meant to be hard. You shouldn't have to 'try' so hard. God's pleased with you anyway. God loves you anyway. It's not about your try try try. The work is already finished. And it's not your work to do anyway.

But, tonight I must be grumpy, because I'm grumpily wondering what's so blasted wrong with trying? Trying to do better, trying harder to do the right thing, trying to change, trying to be what you're suppose to be.

There have been some miracle moments in me that God has worked where, what I'm suppose to do has just come easily. I wanted to do it, I didn't want to not do it, and I was happy to be able to do it.

But a lot of times... well, it just hasn't worked that way.

Sometimes, I wake up and I don't want to read the bible, I'd rather hit snooze than pray, and this afternoon, when it was raining and I was on my way back to work with lunch - I didn't want to stop and pick up the two folks walking down the road. Cause my food would've gotten cold.

I could blithely stand back and say "It's not about me trying" "The work is done", but the truth is sometimes doing what you're suppose to do means doing something you don't feel like doing. And every time you fail, sure, you pray, but you also try harder.

God's never woken me up 30 minutes early, turned my light on, propped me up against a wall and laid a bible on my lap open to the chapter and verse he wanted me to read.
He's never struck me mentally incapacitated when my mind turned towards sinful thoughts.
He's never kicked me in the back of the knee, causing me to fall into a kneeling position.
He's never once, unfortunately, caused my phone line to die, before I said something foolish to a friend.

There's a reason Paul uses the word "press" toward the mark. He didn't say he strolled toward the mark. He didn't say he 'went' 'sauntered' 'walked' or 'cheerfully danced'.
He pressed.

My salvation, sure, it's covered. That work is done.
But MY work, isn't. And God really does have a work for each one of us here on this earth. He's done his ultimate part, but He still helps us do our part too. My salvation might not be dependant on me trying hard enough to do what He wants me to do. But, what if someone elses is? What if whatever height He's trying to get me to attain to is the exact spot where I'll me John Doe and my life, thanks to God and a lifetime of trying, will be just the witness Doe needs.

I don't know.

You don't know either.

So stop telling me not to try or that it's not necessary. Because, my fellow Christian, pressing toward the mark is hard enough without you telling me to chill out.


One Sided said...

Gee I have found that you must always try. It is constant and always changing. Areas where I have had success I must try to maintain and then there are all of these new areas that need some effort.

SLW said...

There are six days of trying and there is a day of rest. We've been made for work, in our pristine condition in the Garden, we worked. There is work in the gospel, good works prepared for us beforehand to do (Eph 2:10). But our works are meritless, they do not make us more worthy or "blessable", and we don't need to be anxious concerning them. Just as there is analysis paralysis so there is also function compunction. I think it's a question of balance (Eccl 7:16-17).