Some days. Y’know?
They just sort of go on and life rolls and we plug away at it one sure foot in front of the other. These are my favourite days because when I take a minute to just soak it all in I realize that this is it. This is the life. My life.
I always thought it would look quite a bit different than this, though from the time I was 13 years old I was sure who the Mr. in the picture was going to be. But the three boys, the house, the dog, I didn’t ever have a perfect picture or a clear longing as to how I wanted that all to play out. And I’m thinking that’s a good thing because for some strange reason I’m not sure this is what I would have envisioned.
There was a time when life was heavy. When it felt heavy and stagnant and rather like quicksand was pulling us in and we weren’t even bothering to fight it. Because, y’know, it’s quicksand and it wins every. single. time. There was a time when chaos ensued and tears came quick and each of us seemed at our wits end for reasons that none of the others could understand. There was a time when the focus was on me and what I want and for him it was him and what he wants and it’s lonely in that place and we were a picture of civil unrest and an empty shell of a family.
Oh sure, we brushed teeth and cooked breakfast and even passed a soccer ball around out in the yard. But those things do not make life worth living, my friends. They’re good things, don’t get me wrong, just not the thing.
Somewhere along the way our lives were infiltrated with something bigger than us. Something broader than our wings could span and deeper than anyone ever chooses to go on their own. We were taken over by something so grand, so incredible, so awesome in the true sense of the word, as in worthy of our awe. Something came in and flipped our hearts and turned our thoughts just right inside out.
The change was evident to those who knew us. I think maybe even to some who just watched from a distance. Because it wasn’t about me anymore but about Him. It wasn’t dutifully going through the motions but a willingness to serve. It wasn’t ra-ra-women rule and must outpower men but man-oh-man are we made differently and let’s celebrate that and see how beautifully what I’m good at nuzzles right up next to what you’re good at and now watch us fly.
There’s only one answer to what happened to us and his name is Jesus.
Because the world looks different when you see Him, savour Him, know Him and therefore fall deeply, deeply in love with Him.
I mean, I’m not sure about you but I can honestly say that noone has ever given their life in place of mine. I’m quite certain they never will, either. But He did. And that? Well, that’s a game changer. It’s not just someone catching the frisbee before it hits you in the back of the head or leaping in front of you to stop the muddy dog from getting his paws all over your clothes. It’s not just someone catching your child when they fall out of a tree or slamming on the brakes just in time before they plow into the back of your car.
It’s more than that. Because not only did He catch the frisbee but He took it in the back of the head. And he didn’t just push the mutt aside but he took the muddy paws all over his white clothes. He didn’t just help you dodge a bullet, He took the bullet. Do you see how the games been changed?
It sometimes bothers me when I see crosses being worn without a second thought. When the necklace is bought because it’s trendy or goes with the dress. It does. Because that symbol of the cross is not a fashion statement but it’s the bullet that Jesus took for me. It’s where he hung and bled and died. For me. For you. For the sins that He knew we were going to commit and for the ones already committed. He knew it was coming and He willingly went there, to that place. And the wrath that I deserve for all of the times I’ve lied or cheated or stolen or disgraced a Holy God, He took that upon Himself.
The tears come quick when I think about it. When I focus my mind on what was done for me. Life changed for me when I realized this. When I learned it and when my heart was made ready to hear it. When I understood this it pulled everything in our life up from the very roots and it replanted us in a new pot with fresh soil and clean water.
Our lives have been forever changed by the love that was shown to us, for us, before we even knew about it. So we still brush our teeth and make breakfast and kick a soccer ball around in the front yard. But it’s different. Because there’s less me, and mine, and I want. Because there’s more Jesus. And there’s more than just living for the moment and yolo (“you-only-live-once” for those of you without teenagers) because there’s intention and thought and love in a deeper way than I ever knew possible. Because there’s Jesus. And there’s sacrifice and service and realizing that we can not save ourselves but need one greater than us to do the saving. There’s Jesus.
I want you to know Him. I really do.