Went to Lonavala last weekend with a large group from church. We spent the weekend at church camp so we didn’t see the area much but had a wonderful time.
Most of our church is very young I would guess the average age is under 30, so we were at camp with 50+ other people most of which could be our kids. It was a fantastic time of learning and fun. We had a guest speaker from Chennai that is full of passion and love for the Lord. He spent a great deal of time expanding the scriptures on our calling in life, God’s heart for us and the world, and how the two intersect.
In looking around and reflecting on the weekend I am so reminded of Paul’s statement in 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;” and in 1Corinthians 9:24-26 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;
Each one describing athletic events which can never be completed in one motion or step.
I am sure a lot of people that were there (if not all) were very impacted this weekend. I am sure the Lord is speaking calling a lot of them to change. Which is scary and uncertain. I can empathize with them as when I was young the calling of God was scary. I didn't want to let go of the world around me and dive headlong into the deep waters of God's love. So I slowly eased in, knowing that there was no option but to be conformed to the image of Christ, yet so desperately trying to cling to what I knew and was comfortable with. No matter how bad it was.
I have spent my whole life bringing change to companies and the world around me. My life is made up of almost unending change. Even today I hear the Lord calling me to change. I can tell you change is uncomfortable, it is hard, it takes A LOT of energy, it is seldom fun (although the end result is quiet often lots of fun), it’s uncertain and scary.
Even Newton recognized that the universe doesn’t like change. His first law of motion states “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” In short “It takes energy to change”.
A really funny thing about the changes in our life, whether God requests the change or not, change only happens one moment at a time. One choice at a time. Like running a race, each step has to be taken. In a foot race you know where the finish line is but you can only get there one step at a time. With change we may have an idea of the end result, but we can’t let that scare us, distract us or stop us. We just have to move one step closer with each decision and if we mess up, then we course correct and keep trying.
No matter if we want it or not change is going to come. We can be fearful of it or embrace it.
It’s easy to not “enter the race” because we are uncertain of the finish line or the result, but no race is ever won by not entering. I quiet often think about this, I don’t want to end my life being the same person I am today. I want to be a better person, I want to be more loving, more kind, more helpful. I want my life to count. I want to, as Jesus said Mark 12:30-31 ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ I don’t think I will every achieve this but it doesn’t stop me from trying. Some days it is hard because I have to deny myself, and take up my cross and follow Jesus, when I would rather just satisfy my flesh.
Ahh, the years of life have generated a much better understanding of the words of Paul at the end of Romans 7. So I will give thanks to Jesus Christ my Lord, not walk in condemnation and remember that Jesus set me free from the law of sin and of death. So I shall put my energy into walking by the Spirit and into the changes God is calling me to.