I know what you are thinking: oh my, Ronke, what a morbid topic.
Or maybe you are not thinking that at all, which makes this kind of awkward...
Ugh, forget I said anything. Carry on.
Might as well be dead
Might as well be dead if you are not going to truly live.
That sounds harsh, but it's true. Whoever said the truth was easy to hear, anyway?
I have come that they might have abundant Life, the Lord says.*
Jesus didn't die so we can wallow in self-pity, guilt, and depression
He didn't die so we can harbor regrets from the past and fears for tomorrow.
And He certainly didn't die so we can be desperately destitute or wastefully extravagant.
"But even though a person sins a hundred times and still lives a long time, I know that those who fear God will be better off." Ecclesiastes 8:13
Jesus died so that we can be better off.
"So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life..." Ecclesiastes 8:15
He died so that we can enjoy life on earth and forever in heaven.
"...That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun." Ecclesiastes 8:15
But life can only be enjoyed one way: His Way.
Work Hard. Enjoy Harder. Worship Hardest.
Might as well be dead, if we do not live life His Way.
In the face of Harvey tonight, I am struck by the blessing in normalcy. More often than not, we take normalcy for granted.
Wake up, work, sleep. Rinse. Repeat.
But which family displaced by Harvey will not give an arm and a leg for a taste of normalcy again? For the chance to argue about who takes out the trash and fight over the television remote?
Tonight, I pray for all those who have lost something and/or someone that the God of comfort and restoration will show up in an unprecedented manner.
And I encourage all those who still have a taste of normalcy to fiercely appreciate God for it, to say a prayer for those who don't have it, and send in a donation to those who crave it.***
May the Calmer of all storms be with us.
**Donations can be sent into Red Cross, Salvation Army, Samaritan's Purse, etc. Even $1 is valuable.
"Help me allow You to make today great."
This morning, as I typically do, I was going through my daily prayer points.
When I got to the prayer point above, I said it, and then said it again and again, each time with different words and inflections to really "pray" it.
You know what I mean: what you do when the prayer leader calls out a one-line prayer point in church, like "Lord, have mercy on me." I mean, you can't keep saying the same thing over and over. It gets monotonous quickly, and that's how people (read: Ronke) lose concentration.
Anyhow, I digress.
As I continued to pray and expand on this prayer point in the spirit, at one point, I said:
"Help me allow You to make my life great."
My brain's first reaction was Scope creep!
A little backstory: I work in a software development company and boy, do those guys love/hate that phrase.
Scope creep is when a client requests that more functionalities be added to an already planned (and sometimes already being coded) piece of software. Computers are pretty dumb and have to be told everything. Hence, the reason programmers protest when scope creep happens.
Every new feature needs to be coded and coding is not as simple as its name. It is expensive and time-consuming.
So imagine if God was bound by the same limits that programmers are.
When I changed the timeline in my prayer request from "today" to "lifetime," instead of being met with shouts of "scope creep" and estimates running into hundreds of thousand of dollars, I got the peace that comes from being heard, accepted, and answered.
Now that's what I'm talking about...😉
I sat in the train, slouched in my seat. It had been a long day, and I was tired. Not really in the mood to do anything, I just sat there, drifting mindlessly from thought to thought. From the people around me in the train to the famous and almost-famous people I had seen (ahem, stalked) on Instagram that day.
Then, a memory of an interview in which a lady was talking about her soon-to-be spouse's religion as if it was nothing more than a check-box on a census form popped up unbidden. I hung onto that thought and followed it, as I tried to understand the lady's mindset.
Even before I knew God, like personally knew Him, faith had always been a big part of my life (hmm...the life of a Pastor's kid). So, I don't think I would ever have married someone who didn't believe Jesus died for the sins of the world.
Hence, I tried to understand (more like, psychoanalyze) where this lady was coming from by trying to imagine a life without God.
Ronke without God.
Honestly? It was terrifying: having a mindset where God did not mean everything to me, where I didn't have God to run to, where I couldn't call on God for help...
My heart actually skipped a beat in fear. No joke.
There was a time in my life when God didn't mean that much to me. But that was before I met Him.
Now, as Dara MacLean so eloquently put it,
"I'm ruined. I'm wrecked. And I can't go back to the way I was before."
And truth be told, I won't have it any other way.