December 19, 2023
“Another disciple said to him, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father’” (Matthew 8:21, NIV).
Last week, as the fall season began to mess with outside temperatures, my colleague popped into the office before clinic.
“I’ve got a problem,” he said.
“My shirt sleeves were too long, so I took some scissors this morning and cut them off to short sleeves. It was getting cooler, so I thought it would be fine if I just wore a sweater; and no one would care.”
“So, what’s the problem?” I asked.
“It’s hot in here, and I can’t take my sweater off with my cut-off sleeves.”
Humans are fickle creatures. I’m a fickle creature.
I like it cold when I go to sleep and warm when I get up.
I like my steaks at 140 degrees.
Last month I asked by barber to cut half an inch less off my hair.
And it’s the same for my spiritual life… I want God to make it just right.
Worship services are worthwhile if they play the right music at the right volume.
The preacher is good if he thinks like I think and stops preaching by 12.
Small groups are cool if I can choose the one I’m in.
After all, what good is church if I am not blessed by it?
And how much of my work-life must be just right—just the right patient numbers, just the right income, just the right admin responsibilities, etc., for me to let God’s glory shine through my workday without blocking it with my frustration?
How much of my world must fall within my comfort zone for me to take up my cross?
When was the last time I was uncomfortable for Christ?
Blaise Pascal said, “I do not ask for health or sickness or life or death: I ask that you dispose of my health, sickness, my life, and death—for your glory, for my salvation, for the use of the church and the saints of which I am a part…Give to me, take away from me, but make my will conform to yours.”
Short sleeves and sweaters. Sometimes it’s hard to get it just right…but when I do….
Let me not confine my work for you within acceptable conditions.