Sunday, 26 January 2014

Not as easy as you would think

I was wasting time on the t'Internet looking for photos of  dogs in onesies and rabbits making friends with baby cheetahs. (Not convinced about the long term future of that one) I came across a thing on The Huffington Post more or less saying that we over complicate the Christian Life. You just like... do it - God has left instructions. Easy Peasy.  Then they quoted Micah 8

It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbour,
    be compassionate and loyal in your love,

From my experience, I think we have to be careful mixing up the words "simple" and "easy". The basic idea of living a Christian life may be simple. It don't necessarily follow that it is easy. Take that bit about doing what is fair and just to your neighbour. What if your neighbour doesn't fancy having what is fair and just done to them maybe because your neighbour is in the wrong? What if they just wanted you to be on their side even if your neighbour knows in their heart that side isn't the fair and just side? Or maybe they think their side is the right side? Then they tell everyone they know that you have done them a wrong thing. Suddenly you are the most unpopular kid in school - just for trying to do the right thing.
You know in the long term that the right thing is simple and indeed right but in the short term, it may not be too much fun for you if you choose to follow it. Jesus chose to speak the truth - it didn't always make him the most popular man in town. 

I think Jesus' life was messy and complicated - full of distractions. That's why he had to "set his face like flint" I think the young people call it "eyes on the prize" 

What I am saying is not to panic if it doesn't all fall in your lap. You do the right thing- the simple thing for God and it all goes wrong. You know you operated with the best intentions so it is really discouraging when things fall apart.

When I was a young person I was really keen on Be-Be and Ce-Ce Winans. They did a song once called "The Blood" with MC Hammer of all people. It was a cheery enough song - not exactly a personal favorite. (My personal faves were the ones where Ce-Ce sounded like she was just about to cough her lungs up) Then, once, I listened to it with earphones. And there, ever so quietly, in the background was a secret message sung in the backing track. Over and over they would whisper

"No need to panic. Trust the Blood."

And that's all  we can do in the end. If Philippians says - don't worry about anything - pray about everything - it sort of follows that God knows that there will be things to worry about - mais non? In the words of the great Michael MacDonald - "No-one said it was easy..." etc etc
Don't think you are always doing something wrong it you find the Christian life hard. The central core of love is the simplest thing in the world. The day to day living of it can really do your head in. The central comfort for me is that I never do any of it alone. 

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