Friday, August 17, 2012

Despite the Distractions

Romans 8:23
Job 1:8-12; 20-22
“Whatever comes," she said, "cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.” ~Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess
Wouldn't it be nice if becoming Christian caused all our problems and distractions to disappear? I imagine there'd be a lot more Christians in this world if that were the case. But although we're given grace to overcome and abundant joy, both problems and distractions continue. There are good distractions (personal hygiene, family time, friends to keep up with) and bad (temptations to spend too much time on personal pleasures). Problems in life pop up constantly (illness, tools breaking, death of those we love). Our focus needs to be on Christ and our relationship with Him, yet the incongruity of eternal life and the demands of our mortal life seems impossible to balance. We want to focus on the Lord, yet how can we in the midst of our daily life?
There is great value in setting aside time to focus exclusively on the Lord, yet there is also great value in struggling to do so in the midst of life's distractions. In a certain way we bring greater glory to God when life interrupts but we try to honor Him anyway. Maybe our prayers aren't quite as focused as those of a nun, but the prayer is sweeter because we've overcome obstacles to make it a priority. Maybe our interactions with other people aren't as loving as they would be if we lived mostly as hermits, but the love is more genuine because we've struggled with it and chosen to love anyway. We look forward to heaven when the choice to love and to pray and to honor God will presumably be a million times easier than it is now. Yet the very fact that it is so difficult now makes our choice to love and pray and honor that much greater of a gift than they would be if the choice were not so difficult.

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