Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
Philippians 3: 13-14 (The Message)
A new cold front whipped through the area this weekend bringing with it temperatures in the twenties and the need to drip water from our outside water faucets. Our youngest Granddaughter was with us yesterday and requested that a fire be built in the fireplace and that we make s’mores together. Perfect for a wintry day.
Watching her snuggle around the warmth of the crackling fire, with our tiny rescue dog, and eating her graham cracker, marshmallow & chocolate treat reminded me very clearly, once again, what life is about, and what it’s not about.
It’s not about doing.
It’s about trying.
It’s not about winning.
It’s about how you play.
It’s not about how much money you make.
It’s about how you made it, and what you do with it afterwards.
It’s not about how many ladders you’ve climbed.
It’s about which ladders you climbed, and how you climbed them.
It’s not about your image to others in the world.
It’s about your influence, and how you treat others in the world.
It’s not about reaching a goal.
It’s about reaching the right goal.
It’s not about an end result.
It’s about the journey and relationships along the way.
It’s not about you.
It’s about what you do with “you.”
Once more, it’s not about you.
It’s about Him. All about Him.
The contrast is clear between the messages we receive from the world around us—a world which is always focused on doing—and those messages from above that resonate within us in our quieter moments when we are about the things that feel right—moments like sitting in front of the fireplace with our Granddaughters.
In this world we crown national champions, celebrate Super Bowl, Academy Award and Golden Globe winners, worry over stock markets, applaud achievement not really knowing how it was achieved, and bow at the altars of wealth, and fame and things. We pay homage to messages like “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”, “bigger is better”, “more is preferable to less”, “don’t just try, do”, or the infamous “Just do it!”
It’s no wonder our children may be confused at times as to what to do with their lives, and why many of us older and wiser ones seem to find ourselves bouncing in and out of moments of excitement and despondency.
The message of the world is that it is all about us and what we do. And what we do next and next and next to be successful. It’s about things external. About doing and achieving. But it’s hard to find any short or long-term warmth, lasting comfort, stability, assurance or more importantly—direction—in those worldly messages.
The message that is missed in all of that is this—God is at work in our lives in the trying. God is at work in our lives all along in the journey. He is always within us. Always at work internally—if we allow Him to be—in the journey of our lives. He is always at work helping us along the way to become all whom He intended for us to be. Helping us to decide which “ladders to climb” and which goals to reach for, encouraging us and applauding us in our trying and strivings, and smiling down on us when we play the “games” to honor and glorify Him.
The scripture passage above points out that Paul realized it was about reaching out for Christ. All the other stuff was rubbish. He realized it was about keeping his eye on the goalGod was calling him to—Christ. It was a calling for him to become more like Christ in every way and during every day.
That’s the message and that’s the journey that will provide the warmth, the comfort, and the eternal assurance and clear direction for here and hereafter. It’s a message that calls us to make time for s’mores with our Granddaughters in front of a crackling fire on a cold wintry day. It’s a message where we find the direction to know what life is about and what it’s not about.
Start with Him, reach out for Christ, today and every day for the rest of your life.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2012. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.