Now that would be true freedom: to partake so fully of the work of the cross and thereby be dead to the wiles of the world, as in the profane and avaricious, covetous and greedy. But I get sucked in all the time. Why else would I continue to live beyond my means?
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
We have three dogs in our household and our oldest (and smallest) dog has suffered the most from the acquisition of the other two, both in the same year, both only a year old and full of energy. He knows he is supposed to be the alpha dog, but he hasn’t figured out how to make it so. Mostly, he tries to prevent the other dogs from eating at mealtimes. His other tactic is to hoard the chewies and toys. It’s not that he necessarily wants them to eat or for play, but he believes it’s his right to have them all.
Am I any different? So often, I simply want what others have. It looks so appealing on them: the nice car, the designer clothes, the perfect hair, the manicures and pedicures, the successful honor students, the cohorts of friends, the dinners, the barbecues, the season tickets, and so on.
I mean, I can appreciate the amazing things that people like Mother Teresa have accomplished, but come on, own nothing? Eat the same as the poor (which means not eating regularly)? Wear the same “drapey” thing every day? What about having my teeth cleaned twice a year? And my eye doctor visit or my gyno exam? What about learning how to cook a gourmet meal? And how would I get my skin tags and moles removed?
It’s an amazing thing, the cross. That work, the ultimate sacrifice, made it possible for me to have relationship with God, creator of the universe. It also avails me to be set free from the web of “gotta have it.” But I haven’t appropriated that aspect of the cross at all. I have accepted the primary benefit but shrug off the other half of the equation. It’s when I step into this realm that I’m pretty sure, I can serve others freely.
I don’t serve others because it’s still, despite everything, it’s all about me. God forgive me. Give me courage to let go of the threads that I am holding (and not that hold me) in this worldly web. Christ died for me so that I could die to the “world” as we have come to know it. There is another world outside this one, that kingdom world, that is calling me.