My daughter loves gymnastics and dance. She must get that from her mother! We were so excited to take her to her first gymnastics lesson last year. She was a little clumsy and stubborn (she probably gets that from her dad), but she did great. She learned better body control and it was great exercise. A little disappointed, we decided not to enroll her this year. Time and money were too tight.
Can I confess that removing her from gymnastics gave me a lot of guilt? I feel like a bad parent. She got over it quickly…heck, I don’t think she quite knows what she is missing. In the end, we decided that our priority needed to be less activity and more family time. We can and should do only so much. If not gymnastics, some other activity would have to stop. I want to give my children every opportunity. I loved watching her jump around, flip, and laugh. But in the end, what I want most is for my children and family to understand our priories, balance in life, and focusing on what is most important…following Jesus.
Never in human history have people had the opportunities and information we enjoy. Do you remember the young men and women who used to travel door to door selling encyclopedias? Now all that info and more is readily available through the internet on a wristwatch! Sports, dance, parties, picnics…we have leisure overload. Its all good! Its all fun! And almost every voice at school, on television, and even in church, bids us to make the most of our time and opportunity. Who do we listen too? How do we decided? What really is the best?
As we conclude our sermon series, STUMBLING BLOCKS, we ask the most pressing question: What Now? We’ve learned that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our faith and our goal and God’s good in our life is for us to be fully and completely aligned with Jesus. What Jesus believes, we believe. What Jesus says, we say. What Jesus does…well, you get the point. How do put all of this into action? With everyone and their grandmother telling us how to live, to whom do we listen?
In John 10:1-10, Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd. Jesus says that his sheep know his voice and follow only his voice. He leads his sheep to good pasture and a good life. Every other voice is a thief or robbery, bent on stealing, killing, and destroying. So ultimately…the only voice we are to listen to is Jesus’. Its not easy following Jesus. We’ll have to sacrifice, work out some difficult teaching in our lives, choose to be obedient when cutting corners makes a lot more sense. Yet, look at the big picture. Only Jesus leads us to the good. Every other voice leads to not-so-good…destruction. Put it that way, and it makes sense to follow Jesus.
Who doesn’t want the best in life? The problem with the best is that it often costs the most. The greatest enemy of the best isn’t the worst…but the good enough. The worst is often easy to spot and easy to avoid. Settling for less then the best oh so tempting. We want to please so many people, so we settle for good enough. The sacrifice and determination to follow Jesus is costly…so we settle for good enough. We want to give our children everything…so instead of prioritizing the best we settle for good enough. We fear failing at the best…so we settle for good enough. In the end, the voices urging “that’s good enough” lead to our destruction. Jesus will always and only be leading us to the best.
What now? Aligning our lives with Jesus isn’t easy. It requires saying no to the good so that we can experience God’s best. Its hard being open, vulnerable, and authentic. We will face trouble. We will face opposition. We will feel pressure to settle. But don’t fear…God has overcome the trouble, opposition, and pressure of this world. Allow God to lift you up. Prayer, obedience, giving, serving…they are all means of changing us more and more like Jesus. That’s the best God wants for us.
I’ll close this little letter with a link to the video God’s Chisel. (Click the link or go to: http://skitguys.com/videos/item/gods-chisel ) I encourage you to watch and share this video. Its a great reminder of God’s incredible love and magnificent work in our lives…if we choose to listen and give control to Jesus. May you know you are God’s masterpiece…and may you choose to settle for nothing less than God’s best.