There is a specific thing that God considers important. I know you know what it is, it’s about loving God first and having everything else come from that place. It’s hammered into us but it’s the thing that is also the easiest to lose in the everyday.
This week, if you turn up at my house, you’re going to find that I’ve done the vacuuming and the kitchen is relatively tidy. There’s a big pile of folded clothes in the loungeroom ready to be put away, I am ahead on the task list that I have to do for other people, and with no small amount of relief, I have begun Christmas for the nieces and nephews.
What I have struggled with is doing the one thing I am supposed to be doing. The task on God’s agenda for us to do together every week, the habit we have built up over the past 18 months. Because of the new way God has taught me to live post Brain Injury, if I’m not living completely in tune with Holy Spirit, important things get knocked out.
Being able to manage house work and organize myself around a schedule of impending events (yes, impending is a good word!!) are huge steps forward in the process of my physical healing. However, this fortnight I had cause to wonder whether I had sacrificed the best for the sake of the good.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NIV)
When I was thinking about all the things I had done, and working through what was happening with my brain, it became clear that there was a fight to retain the mental ability to do the one thing I know is most important on my schedule of events.
“In the grand scheme of things”, lots of people might say, “what does it matter? Look at all the other important stuff that’s happened which you can be grateful for!”
This is very true, but it does not line up with the fine line I walk, holding onto the One Thing that is important, to have the whole of who I am resonate from that place, rather than the way we have come to live in this world, of first taking care of busy-ness and then turning to Jesus when we have time.
Someone reflected to me this week that one degree off centre in the beginning, leads to a long veer off path in the long run.
One of the biggest paradox we have living The Narrow Way is living from rest and working hard to maintain that place. Working hard to put God’s agenda first, to ensure that what we are working on, or the place we are working from is not the “bright ideas department”.
Ensuring the entire way we approach the world is from the place of God’s agenda, not our own and not our idea of what God’s agenda should be… (you all know what I mean…!)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 (NIV)
For once, humbly here means what we think it means, to understand who you are in relation to the God of All Things, the Three-In-One (it’s the plural name of God here), to be in a position of humiliation. This is a stark contrast to the word ‘walk’ which carries all the connotations of blessing and bearing fruit, leading, growing, breakthroughs, child bearing and the like. Read more here: Isaiah 40:31 Unfurled.
Jesus has been the centre of my fortnight. This is not a negotiable thing. It is the resonation that has been under scrutiny.
This leads to the million dollar question. If things were not completely in order, if I needed to make a course correction of one degree, does this mean I was really living from my core values?
No. I wasn’t. I knew there was something off, but I didn’t understand where the problem was occurring. It took direct intervention from Holy Spirit to reveal where the problem lay so that I could make the change.
If you notice, I’m not reporting to you one word from God of condemnation, or laying blame, or any mention of false guilt. In our conversations together He helped me see the place I went wrong, the point where I was holding a wrong understanding of a particular task and how it was skewing my view and my ability to walk out my past weeks with the level of success that I should have experienced.
God has no use for condemnation. He does not level unhealthy emotional baggage at us, that is a work of the enemy. If we ignore Jesus, ignore the prompts of Holy Spirit to address things, then He will prick at our conscience, but conscience is vastly different to condemnation.