Made it to 5 today. Woohoo. More musings then. And, may I warn you now, it is deteriorating, though my mental acuity increasing with each passing moment.
-Every long plane ride, I take my Tolkien – its like travelling with an old friend that you haven’t seen for a while. Didn’t finish Lord of the Rings (book) this time. I usually make it through on the plane trip home, but this time, Casino Royale was calling my name, thereby sabotaging my reading…
-glad we missed the snow last week.
-they’re everywhere. On our flight home from SFO to RNO, 2 German ladies sat across from Joni, coming to visit a relative in the Reno area.
-2 Daylight Savings Time jumps forward in one 3 week period is lame. 4 March in the US, 18 March in the EU. Progressive.
-Pondering & repondering Luke 9:23-25… still. The whole “deny your selfish ambition” makes me have to introspect – What are my selfish ambitions? If I’m going to deny them, I better know what they are or least what they look like… How deep does this rabbit hole go?
On that note, 1John 2:15-17 comes to mind…
“Do not love the world, or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world- the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches – comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world & its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.”
Identifying selfish ambition: the 3 things mentioned in these verses are about me & fulfilling me. Like Indulgence. Accumulation. Self-exaltation. Gaining the whole world, while losing the soul. –> Denying selfish ambition. Its got to be more than mere asceticism, which can be done in the name of God, albeit with a selfish motivation.
Maybe the “denying of selfish ambitions” can’t be separated from the “taking up the cross daily” – simple obedience. Makes me ponder some more –
Has God really called me to do “great things” for Him? The divinely-ordered task of doing “great things” seems to hide in it lots of room for selfish ambition. I can see a trap here. My introspection continues… I can’t recall a time in my life that I have ever had God call me to do something “great”. Usually, for me, God’s call is a point of obedience that no one else finds out about. And it often seems to involve pain. And being misunderstood. And suffering. Standing firm somewhere.
Something that comes to mind is God’s call to the Apostle Paul on the Damascus Road HERE– esp. verse 16 – where God says, “I myself will show him (Paul) how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” Interesting.
Selfish ambition points to me, ultimately, no matter what flowery language or high purpose I declare that I am really pursuing – the taking up of the cross, daily, is a call to obey, but also a call to die. Jesus must have chosen the words carefully, loaded with imagery as they are, esp. in the context of the 1st Century Roman Empire. Lay aside selfishness & obey. It will hurt. We will suffer for obeying. But, we’ll be following in His footsteps.
-time for another cup of joe.
I suspect “great things” are a matter of definition and that generally the great things we are called to do will seem great to the people whose lives are impacted from our obedience, yet won’t seem so great to the us. This promotes humility and keeps pride in check.
As does suffering, by the way . . .
Good point Tim. I agree completely about the simple obedience becoming great to others. It may just be that the simple obedience has such a huge impact on certain people that it appears God is doing great things in that person when all he was doing was simply obeying.