Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Center Pole is...Whom?

Who is at the center of our spiral line of life?

For most people, it really is ourselves. We see everything through our own frame of reference, we look at every new situation in terms of how it might benefit us, we seem to constantly ask the question, "What's in this for me?" But is that how we should live?

Certainly not as Christians. We are supposed to be walking in the steps of Jesus Christ. And if there was ever an unselfish person in this world it was Jesus Christ. He knew He was God in the flesh, He knew He had power to do anything, have anything, become anything. And He chose to follow His Father's plan right to the cross and death. He always had His perspective straight, and had the long view in mind. "For the joy set before Him" he scorned the shame of the cross, endured the pain. What was the joy?

I think Jesus' joy was multifaceted - bringing honor to God, returning to the Father and sitting at His right, winning the battle over sin and death. But we were also part of that joy. He loved us! He still loves us, and is in the throne room of God advocating for us. "This one belongs to me," He'll say when our Accuser stands and tries to show God we are undeserving of salvation.

God is to be the center of our spiral. We are to always be looking to Him, walking in His love and grace. And anything that drags us off of that focus is bad - I would even go so far as to call it idolatry.

That includes being in despair about our own weaknesses. In fact, the ancient theologian Fenelon would say that despair over our weakness is worse that the weakness itself. If we can just recognize our weakness, then give it over to God, and walk forward knowing His love remains on us, then we are doing well. But if we wallow in it, analyze it, cry over it, hold onto it like some unwashed security blanket, then we are focused on ourselves and not on God. This attitude reflects our lack of belief in His promise that He will never leave us, that He will always love us, and that His grace is sufficient for everything - even for getting us Home.

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