Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I've given a few youth talks recently where I emphasized that living for the glory of God is the most satisfying way to possibly live. I worked to convince teenagers of the fact I've tried to shape my life decisions around: there is no way of doing life that brings greater joy than surrendering completely to Christ so much that we are willing to give up anything for his sake. Around the same time I was giving these messages, I found myself in the midst of a few days ruled by weariness and a complaining attitude. I reflected on the sad humor of going through a day scheduled like this:
7:25 Worry over my morning cup of Ethiopian Yirgachaffe whether I am really making progress in my ministry
9:45 Complain to a friend about not being able to afford the next thing I need because I make so little money and pay seminary tuition
10:15 Wonder on my morning walk whether I'll ever overcome the "horrible suffering" for Christ called singleness
12:00 Brood over my reheated rice and beans about whether I'll ever figure out just what specific kind of ministry I'm called to, what country I should move to next, and what school I should go to for my next degree
12:45 Pretend to read theology while I make a mental list of all the things I wish were better about my life.
3:45 Stand in front of 20 teenagers and tell them that a life changed by the gospel and lived for the glory of God brings the greatest joy, no matter how circumstances look and no matter what other people say.

And on an honest day, this follows:
5:00 Drift across American Lake in my kayak asking myself whether I really believe what I just taught. If I do, then I will serve for the joy of blessing my savior, not boasting about results; I will be grateful for the advantages of my present situation while praying and looking forward to the joys that would come with a future change; I would relish the opportunity to serve Christ where I am, right now, and be awed by the fact that my simple, everyday actions have eternal significance; I would be grateful for any sacrifice - comparatively small or great, real or perceived - that was made out of love for our coming King.

Life is simpler when I live what I believe.

There is no way more satisfying than living every day for the glory of God.


Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing your struggle. not that any of my experiences compare to yours, but there was a time in my life when i lived for the future, thinking that my life wouldn't really begin until this or that occurred in my life. time has a funny way of changing perspective though. i'm not doing any of the things i envisioned. in fact, i'm doing the very things i didn't want to do. looking back there have been very key moments in my life where God had to teach me what was really important the hard way. looking at my life now most people may think it's not very exciting or meaningful or ambitious or whatever their adjective of choice is. but you know what? i really don't care, because i am finally content and know that my life does count for something to those few God has given me to serve. i hope you too, will be encouraged by what you are accomplishing right now...because really, nate, it is not insignificant. it is definitely making a difference. what you do with those kids, what you did at camp is nothing to sneeze at. it mattered. it matters.

Austin said...

Most satisfying? That has been my experience, but not all the time. We talked on a recent hike about moods. It doesn't always feel good to serve God, sometimes because of our own sins, but sometimes not, I think.
I want a blog post about how moods relate to serving God!
Sorry for the demands- I really appreciate your blog, Natedawg, and I think it stands above most blogs.

theone withabeard said...

Ah, yes, Austin: I have elaborated to you, but not to all, how I define "satisfaction" as transcending moods and feelings - distinguished from fun. Maybe I'll get into that more soon...