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Nothing in all the world

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Luke 9:22-25

Then Jesus said to them all:

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?"

I personally have always thought it would be nice to have a million dollars in the bank.

Haven't you?

God hasn't seen fit to grant my request. Actually, I haven't really asked him for anything like that; it just didn't seem fitting with verses like this in the Bible. I also haven't needed to ask him to set me up with an appropriate cross. The crosses are evidently more available to most of us than the million bucks.

So as I get older every day I listen for the prayers to pray ... Holy Spirit, give me the words to say as I pray. Not for a comfortable life, nor for suffering that I invite, not for Stuff, and not for Pain. Just how do I pray, Lord?

"Follow me."

Jesus loves it when I stop thinking about myself altogether. It's just as absolutely materialistic to seek poverty as it is to crave kingship, power and control, riches. And it's not much of a step forward when I seek self-actualization, or spiritual enlightenment, or even examine all my motivations in search of purity and holiness. Just how much attention can I pay to myself, anyway?

I can't just decide to stop thinking about myself; I'll be more inward-focused than ever. What I can do is let that thinking decrease as I increase what I do for anybody else but me. We should all be so blessed to be boy Scouts and girl Scouts and help each other across the street. Across street after street after street.

Our daughter Andi and several of her Stratford House friends are headed for a Habitat for Humanity project during spring break next month. She'll be giving up some precious study time, and skipping skinny dipping off the Florida coast (well, she might not be doing that anyway ...). She'll be thinking about all kinds of things Except Herself for a few days.

Spring break, picking up your cross ... it doesn't get better than that.

In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus. You can have all this world, but give me Jesus. Thank you, thank you, Lord.

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