It’s a busy stretch right now as I prepare to present my final master’s project in ten days’ time. Room booked? Check. Posters printed? Check. Paper done? Script finished? Slides prepared? I want this first public sharing of the book I’ve been working on for several years to be a blessing to those who attend.
In the midst of the busyness (which sometimes degenerates into anxiety), I’m sensing myself reminded, through an image and a phrase, how to live this time.
The phrase? “It’s not mine, it’s ours.” The book, the accompanying papers, the presentation aren’t mine, they’re ours—a love-gift that God and I have been offering to each other for years and are now preparing—together—to share with others. The responsibility is not mine to carry alone.
And the image? I’m flailing around in the ocean, grasping wildly at a life-ring, trying to pull myself up out of the water and stand on it. It flips over, dumping me unceremoniously back into the water and leaving me coughing and spluttering as it bobs to the surface again a few feet away. Jesus, walking on the water, reaches out his hand to me, inviting me to stop trying to stand on (or even cling to) the life ring and let him help me back into the boat instead.
The life-ring, I’m discovering, can be just about anything. My own intuition. A structure or protocol or tradition. Detailed planning. Friends who are helping me out. Anything that is good and helpful and sometimes even life-saving, but that isn’t meant to be the foundation for my security. Anything, in other words, that is not Jesus.
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I’ve been reading your Monday offering for a few months now but resisted commenting. This week however – I just can’t help myself. You totally struck a chord with “good and helpful ….but that isn’t meant to be the foundation for my security”. This message has been coming to me over and over the last few months but you summed it up so beautifully with the life-ring image that I find myself saying, “Yes …that’s it exactly!” Beautiful wisdom. Blessings on your co-authored book (again, this resonated with me) Thank you.
I agree. There are so many things in life that are good and which I want to cling to, like good planning but that probably shouldn’t be my foundation. I want Him to be my foundation and I want to listen to His voice, although most of the time I would prefer to plan!
Thank you for the very practical encouragement.