Trying to write today is like pushing a boulder up a hill. No sooner do I have a coherent thought then it rolls away from me and I have to go back to the beginning again. Maybe it’s warfare and maybe it’s laziness – I just don’t know. What I’m laboring to express here is where Wednesday’s post came from and why it matters so much to me. Basically, I’ve had a very personal revelation of just what my relationship with God is meant to be, and it’s amazing.
I’ve always considered myself a little selfish when it came to my relationship with the Lord. I wanted whatever He had for me, and if there was something out there that wasn’t for me, I really wasn’t too interested in it. For years I called this a selfish approach to relationship, but I think that selfish is the wrong word.
…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…
Hebrews 12:1-2 NASB
I am by no means labeling my approach as equal to the standard that is laid out here, but I think that it’s been part of my move toward that. We each have a specific and individual race to run. My race is set by God for ME, no one else, and the same goes for all of us. I understood that race as something synonymous with my life in general, but I don’t think that’s right. It’s not so broad, so inclusive as that. In my life, I have family and friends that God’s given me to love, but they are not running my race with me. They each have a race that’s just for them. I don’t think that it’s selfishness on my part to prioritize my race, just as it isn’t myopic to fix my eyes on Jesus.
There is an absolutely, unequivocally solitary aspect to this Christian life. And this solitude will make me an oddball, just like Jesus. Jesus was NOT normal! He was seriously strange! He walked off without explanation, He insulted the respected elders of the faith, He announced to Zaccheus that He was staying at his house without so much as a “by your leave,” and He called His hosts out publicly for being bad hosts. Jesus was running the race set before Him by the Father. He had fixed His eyes and heart on His Father’s will, and that came first before anything and everything. Contrary to an old youth pastor of mine, I don’t really see Jesus as “cool” or a “rebel with a cause.” He was unpredictable and strange because He was a man utterly owned.
I’ve had my first clear glimpse of my race, my heart union with the Lord, and it’s just amazing! But it’s also mine alone to run. Though I’m blessed with love and friendship and true Body fellowship, the core of my life is solitary. I’ve never seen that so clearly before, certainly not without a good deal of fear or regret. It’s just different now, and I wish that I had the words to express how much peace and excitement I have over the very thought, but I don’t. All I can say is that this “normal” Christian life is stranger and weirder and yet somehow more magnificent than I ever thought it would be.
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.”