The list. I know some people who make lists for everything. At times I am one of those. I will even write something on my list that I've already done just for the satisfaction of crossing it off. Other times my list is never written with ink and that is precisely when things go awry in my house.
Like the fabric that's been waiting for a year to be sewn into curtains. The pictures collecting dust under my bed that have never been scrapbooked. The attic boxes I haven't touched since moving fourteen months ago. These items were written with the ink of good intentions. Something tells me they won't soon be checked off their imaginary list.
This morning I read Revelation 3. The first church addressed in this passage snaps my attention. About them Jesus says:
- You have the reputation for being alive but you are dead (Verse 1)
- I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God (Verse 2)
There are very specific things which God has prepared for me to do. My things are not your things. Nor are your things my things. Each of us has a unique list of "good deeds" God created us to do. The question is why don't I always do them? The answer probably lies in the same closet as my unsewn fabric so I'll look in there.
- The Job's Too Challenging For Me - I have never sewn curtains before. It seems far less risky to keep my fabric tucked away than to pull it out and admit to myself that learning to sew will be a challenge. Most of things God calls me to do lie far outside of my comfort zone. In fact I'm currently so far outside my comfort zone, I can't even see it from here. What if I'm not equal to the task to which God calls me? It matters not because God is.
- The Job's Too Big For Me - I haven't scrapbooked since Hannah was two. She's fifteen now so I have thirteen years of photos crammed under my bed. If I scrapbooked a page every day, I may actually catch up before Carynne who's three graduates from college. The job seems too monumental to undertake so I just keep it tucked neatly away. No matter how big the task seems that God is calling me to, it isn't too big for Him. He makes the impossible possible.
- The Job's Too Messy - I really do need to go through the boxes in the attic. Those boxes contain more than just "stuff"; they hold my memories. Some of those memories have pain, strife or heartache packed away with them. It is far less emotionally messy to keep my boxes locked in the attic than to wade through the remembrances I've keep contained. Much of what God calls me too requires getting emotionally invested in people's lives. Those lives may appear tidy at the surface, but underneath like all of us there's plenty of gunk. I'm not a trained counselor and my shoulders aren't broad enough to carry anyone else's load but I do know the Wonderful Counselor who shoulders every load.
When I fail to complete what God has for me, my spiritual life takes on a corpse-like stupor that hardens my heart and stops my ears. I have the reputation for being alive but I'm dead without that daily connection to Jesus.
Jesus, I don't want to be a dead head - shuffling through life with eyes fixed and unseeing the opportunities You place before me. Today I will remember that You are able to do whatever You ask of me. Then I won't just have a reputation for being alive. I will experience the thrilling adventure of walking by faith wherever You lead me.