Friday, June 26, 2009

Retro Sacrifice

I was feeling a little retro the other day, so I pulled out some earrings that once belonged to my grandma. Very fun earrings, BUT they are clip-ons. Tight clip-ons. When I first put them on, my ears began to scream in pain. I knew that it was going to be a sacrifice if I was going to wear them. The fashion outweighed the pain (for a few hours at least).

Just as fashion can involve pain and sacrifice, being a Christ-follower often involves sacrifice and pain. I can readily list what I sacrifice. Unfortunately, my list of what I sacrifice often overshadows why I'm making the sacrifice. I get so caught up in my list of what I give up or must endure that I lose sight of the reason.

As athletes train, they sacrifice and endure pain because they have a goal in mind. As Christians Paul encourages us with comparisons to athletes: "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

If I only focus on the sacrifice, I lose sight of the prize and will most likely never make it. That's a sobering thought.

How do I focus on the right thing? Again, referring to Paul: "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14

I must make the conscious decision to focus on the prize rather than all the sacrifice. If I can endure my ears being squashed for the sake of fashion, I would hope that I can endure sacrifice for the sake of Christ.

Friday, June 12, 2009

High Maintenance

Just as my shift was almost over at the coffee shop, I had a high-maintenance customer. Not only did he inform me that on his previous visits, his order was not the way he wanted it, but he told me to write down exactly what he wanted. He was very specific! Although I complied with all that he asked, my attitude wasn't very cheerful. On the inside, I was definitely complaining!

I don't think we often realize when we are high-maintenance. I've been taking a hard look at myself and my relationship with Christ, wondering if I come across as high maintenance to Him.

Do I approach my time with Christ as a chance to tell Him that He hasn't been delivering what I want? Have I been giving Him a list for Him to get right? Instead of seeing the effort that He puts into my life, am I only seeing the lack of getting my own way?

I know that I am really good at presenting requests to God, but is that all my relationship consists of? Am I just a high-maintenance customer to Him?