Lay It Down
By: Adam Tracy
I come to you today completely tired and ready to go back to bed. I didn’t sleep well last night. Many of you may know I struggle with sleep. Last night was a rough one. I didn’t get to sleep until 5:30am, then alarm, and the day starts at 6:00am. Luckily my awesome wife knows I have bad nights, and she got up and got the first set of kids off to school while letting me sleep until about 7:30am. I got a good two hours of sleep, so if I am all over the place in this blog, please forgive and try to look at the inner workings of my writing.
My brother spoke yesterday on “Eternal Hope”, and he did an amazing job explaining things. If you want to listen to that, you can get it off of the Family Christian Center website. They played a video of Francis Chan in the service. In this video Chan brought out this rope that seemed to never end. It stretched clear across this giant stage. He went on to explain how we need to imagine the rope represents our existence. In his hand was the end of the rope, and it had a two inch piece of duct tape wrapped around the tip. He went on to explain that if the rope represents our existence, then that little piece of tape represents our existence on this earth. Following the existence on this earth is millions of years in the rest of eternity spent somewhere. He went on to talk about how our decisions on this earth decide as to where we spend this eternity and how we spend it. This is what I want to delve into a little more.
Chan goes on to explain that many of us make decisions on this earth for the here and now. We decide to work our tails off so that we can live out our final 10-20 years in bliss. We as human people look at what is happening in this 70 years of life and make decisions for ourselves and our families without fully looking at the depth of what follows this measly life. We cannot truly put into words what eternity is because we can’t grasp it in our puny minds. Our lives are but a blip on the radar of eternity. When we think about the decisions we have made for this life, it is truly borderline insanity.
All of this is a preface to say I was convicted greatly about my life. I make complete and utter selfish decisions instead of looking at the big picture. I know we all do this, but I know that I can only control myself and my own decisions so I want to share with you today my thoughts and what I was struggling with last night immersed in my own thoughts.
I look back at the 35 years of my existence and see so many mistakes I have made in this life. I see that I have made so many choices based on the next several years and didn’t truly look at the entire picture. I am approximately half way done with this part of my existence, and I can never get those years back. I struggled in my own mind wondering where I went wrong and hoping and praying that God forgive me of my atrocities toward him. The truth is I was ashamed because I want to ultimately make decisions based on what he wants me to do, not on what I want. Needless to say, I was distraught, wondering if there was any way I could turn this life around and be more than what I was.
I finally went to sleep, and waking up two hours later, I felt peace. I felt like God explained to me in my feeble mind that I missed what my brother explained. He explained that the teaching was about Hope for eternity. When we have hope, we have to give reliance to someone else. I was killing myself in my mind because so much of my reliance is on my own abilities and my own actions. I push myself to be everything God wants me to be. I give everything I am to be the best child of God I can. The truth is that pressure is overwhelming because I can’t be the perfect child. I am human and imperfect in so many ways. I will never be perfect.
This is why the word Hope is so important. When we put our full reliance on what God did for us, it takes the pressure off of us and puts it on Him. He was willing to lay down His life so that we don’t have to carry that pressure with us. We don’t have to feel the burden of doing all the right things and being the perfect person.
We need to have balance to this and not go completely to the all Grace side of it. Without balance, we give ourselves moral freedom to do as we please because “God will forgive us”. I know this is a point of controversy to many, but I believe we need to continue our lives as if we choose Christ daily. I want to still be the best child I can because God has set a precedence to do so, but we don’t have to have that pressure of working for his love. His love is unconditional.
Jesus completely laid down His life and made a decision that no human could take from Him, for me and for you. Therefore, I want to daily choose to lay my life down for Him and work at making decisions in this short life that will further Him and His idea of my life for eternity. I don’t want to be so heavenly minded that I am no earthly good, but I want to look at the big picture and truly decide what will be best in eternity, not these short years we are on this planet. My hope is in you, Jesus. Even though this is going to be a struggle for me, I want to put my full reliance in You, Jesus. Give me more opportunity to lay my life down for you and for your idea of eternity.