I'm not sure I have much in me this evening, but it's a writing day, so here I am. Tomorrow is the 2012 Presidential Election. I'm struggling with all of the tension, within and without, that this political season has brought. And I'm tired because this time change has been a killer around here, resulting in a net loss of sleep over the last couple of days. Big, dramatic events and reduced sleep are a bad combination for me, leading to strange emotional episodes!
As I washed dishes tonight, I put on a Sara Groves Pandora station and Jeremy Camp's version of Give Me Jesus came on. It starts: In the morning when I rise, in the morning when I rise, in the morning when I rise, give me Jesus. The lyrics shook me out of my twisted knot of confusion and sorrow about how to best navigate the political climate, and the need I feel to understood and figure everything out. I will vote tomorrow, according to my conscience. But God will take care of the details (big and small) of the 2012 election. He will also be near as I tend to my home and family and tomorrow's activities, the more immediate and common concerns in my life. I so easily get caught up in wanting to understand everything and be understood (and accepted!) But in the morning when I rise, first thing, I need Jesus. I need to start with Him, at His feet, in His presence. He's the way, the truth, and the life. I was able to add a leaf to the Thanksgiving Tree that reads: I'm thankful that I have work to do, but God is ultimately in charge and responsible. Thank. You. Lord.
Okay, none of that has anything specifically to do with Colossians. And yet, as I think about Paul prompting the people to grow in the knowledge of God and His will, surely there is some application here. Opinions and analyses abound on myriad topics in our society, even things of faith. Without continuing to grow in our knowledge of God, without the Spirit coming alongside us, giving us spiritual wisdom and understanding, we'll either fall into blindly believing things that are popular in our circles, start making up our own stuff, or get so cynical we give up. We need to keep getting to know God, the One and Only God who has revealed Himself to us in His Word and through Jesus Christ.
Today at one point I did find myself wondering if it is possible to live a "normal" life with a job, responsibilities, family, friends, and be as passionate and focused on the Gospel as Paul is and as he prays for the Colossians to be. What do you think? I feel like my mind and heart are constantly divided or, better said, distracted! When in worship or having quiet time, I can be so energized and filled-up. But it is quite challenging to maintain that throughout the rest of the day.
Can I leave you with that tonight? Given this prayer God prayed for the Colossians:
10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
Is it possible to live this way?
Is this even the right question to be asking?
Share some thoughts in the comments!
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Sorry this is not more coherent (see paragraph 1!) I think maybe we'll focus on the above verses tomorrow before we move into the magnificent passage about Jesus in the second half of chapter one in the following days. Have a good night, and if you're an American, get out there and exercise your freedom to vote tomorrow!!