Dwelling in the Secret Place

Written Oct 2012: A good life takes effort. It means investing in something. Like cooking a turkey. You could enjoy a turkey dinner at a restaurant (although even that will cost you), or you could go to your mom’s for some and if you are lucky you might come away with a doggy bag for lunch the next day. But there is nothing like making one yourself. It is the preparing days in advance for the event, making sure the bird is thawed and all of the ingredients that you will need are purchased. It means an all day investment in the creating of an experience. Getting up early and slowly cooking the turkey, the peeling and cooking of vegetables, making stuffing, and gravy and rolls. All of the effort comes to a climax with the serving of it and the enjoying it together. There is that great satisfaction of a job well done when you can indulge together. But while you are in the midst of it, you get to enjoy the aroma of the turkey cooking and afterward all of the leftovers that can be used in so many ways to feed you for a week! Sometimes you miss out on the fact that the blessing comes because of the effort you put in. And it isn’t just the end product that is the blessing, but the experience of it as well. And all of that effort results in blessing that can last for more than the official meal.
It is the same for everything in life. I could, and am sure that I have, skated through life without much effort. School was easy, I really didn’t need to put much effort in there. University was harder, but instead of putting any effort in, I was content to settle for mediocre marks. I have had several careers, but never really became an expert in anything. Oh, sometimes I can fake it. I can talk a good talk and can fool many. I have a little bit of knowledge about a lot of things, but I know very little. Even in my relationships, I have not invested too much. Whether it is out of fear of getting hurt or just sheer laziness or habit, I am not sure. But it becomes very obvious that my relationships have no depth when they can end so quickly. I feel the emptiness though. I feel it even in my career, when I really should have more knowledge than I do and with each passing day and shift I continue to risk both my livelihood and the lives of those in my care because of my lack of effort to learn my trade. I want to be an expert, but I can always find an excuse why I can’t make the effort today. It is much like losing weight. I want to be skinny. To be healthy. But when there is a pan of fudge in front of me, I can put off the effort until tomorrow. And exercise? Oh yes, I have a whole shelf of exercise DVDs. But there is never time to actually do one. I can talk about it, even plan for it. But when it comes right down to actually putting in the effort to eat healthy and exercise, well…..
And then there is God. I have accepted Jesus as my Saviour. But can I say that I know Him? In reality I might pull out my Bible once every couple weeks for 5 minutes. I go to church on Sunday and enjoy my time. I get a glimpse of the relationship that is possible, feel good for a little while and then go back to my old life. Because, to continue in that relationship takes effort. It means meeting with Him and investing time with Him. Getting to know Him means reading His Word and praying. There is great reward and blessing should I choose to partake of this journey, but I can always find an excuse. Tomorrow. I will start tomorrow. But funny thing,… tomorrow never comes. I can fake it. I can talk the good talk. I can make people think that I know Him. But that is the thing about God. He knows the truth. He is not going to punish me, but I am missing out on the sweet “aroma” of a passionate love relationship with Him. Don’t I want the experience of Him? What about the “Well done” at the end? And the legacy of the” leftovers“ that will bless generations after me? Are they not all worth the effort? Psalm 91 verse 1 says, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” There it is. The goal. I want to dwell in the secret place. I want to abide with the Almighty. God help me to take the first step.

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