Volf continues (see yesterday’s devotional if you missed it)… “But what does it mean to wait? Waiting for something contrasts to making something happen. Waiting also has an active side. The coming of God consists of two parts: the second coming, when God brings about the end of history and the first coming, when God enters history. The life of Jesus Christ, the God who has come and who is coming, exemplifies what we do as we wait. We are born, and new possibilities open up for us and for the world; we hear a voice from heaven in the depths of our being, calling us to love God above all things and to love our neighbors as ourselves, and our lives are turned around…” (Flourishing, p. 11-12) Turned around for what? I’m sad to say that it is confusing at this moment in history to know exactly that WHAT should be! We have pastors telling us to “gun up” and others calling us to “silence”. What’s a person to do with all this competing information? We see Jesus make many choices during his brief foray into public ministry. He says “Yes”, he says “No”, he says “Wait”, he rebukes, he encourages, he preaches, he falls silent. He loves. He also promises us an abundant life.
10 The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest. John 10:10 CEB
Let’s harken back to our own personal experiences, and give ourselves a bit of a self-check. I’m sure we’ve all had a variety of life experiences. Let’s pause for a second, and consider our experiences and put them to the “life to the fullest” test.
Which fills more “full” –
- When we are whipped up in indignation over something? Someone?
- When we do something kind for another person, without expecting anything in return?
- When we win an argument?
- When we figure out a way to resolve a conflict to the satisfaction of all parties?
- When someone gives us something?
- When we give a gift….and it is deeply appreciated by the recipient?
- When we are ruminating over a past offense?
- When we have restored a broken relationship?
As confusing as the messages are in our world today, I honestly do NOT think that we can use that as an excuse to ignore what we know. I agree with Volf when he says we “hear a voice from heaven in the depths of our being”, and I think this voice guides us. It is quiet and still, but it is also real and ever-present. It provides answers that we may not want to hear in the moment even as it fills us up with abundant living. Listen. Listen to what really fills you up. I bet it isn’t pizza or prizes or possessions. I bet it is the halleluiah that your heart sings when you imitate God, not your fellow humans.