Monday, February 11, 2008

Lent: Day 6

I spent the afternoon with my oldest son yesterday. My wife and two young children are out of town. So, after church we had the day of the boys. We finished painting his bedroom, UCLA blue and gold, went to the batting cages, and then saw a movie. It was great pouring time into him. Now that he is 10 he is becoming more of young man all the time. I had lots that I wanted to do, but this day was for him. He loved it and so did I. It brought back a lot of good memories of my dad and I hope built some for him.

During Lent we are reminded that our lives are not simply about ourselves. While few of us would state it that crassly, the truth is that many of us live that way. We see our own desires at paramount and those of others, including our families, as being less important. I am often guilty of this. When the bible says that we are trust in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart, the subtext is that when we follow after Jesus our desires begin to change. As we give of ourselves to others our desire for personal satisfaction changes. It is not that we don't desire satisfaction any longer, but rather that how that personal satisfaction is accomplished changes. When we begin to take pleasure in the joy of others we become transformed and become more like God.

Jesus said two things that are often not connected: He said that he only did what he heard God telling him to do and he said that no greater love has a man than he lay down his life for his friends. The connecting point here is that Jesus calls us to live like him: to listen to and obey God AND to give of ourselves to a broken and hurting world that disparately needs the good news of Jesus.

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