Tuesday, 4 November 2014

You're not in the driver's seat

"You're not in the driver's seat." is the sub-heading in The Message for Matthew 16, verses 24 - 28

"Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?

Don’t be in such a hurry to go into business for yourself."

It is when I read words like this that I realise how far I am from really following Jesus. To live my life subject to him, letting him lead me in everything I do...

Now, to ask Jesus what to wear, or what to eat, is ridiculous: after all, he says, paraphrased in the old Catholic chorus we used to sing and which remains in my memory as a Rakwaro seminary song:
"Do not worry over what to eat,
what to wear or put upon your feet,
trust and pray go do your best today,
and leave it in the hands of the Lo..rd, leave it in the hands of the Lord."

(The melody remains in my head after more than 30 years!)

Instead, perhaps, it is more about using commonsense, training and past experience to inform the present and future, while listening for a sense in my spirit than I am journeying in the right direction: ' Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” ' (Isaiah 30:21) B.eing aware of a nudge to keep me on the right track, a gentle touch of the hand to change my focus.

It takes practice. But the rewards will be great: look to the future:  "`Before you know it the Son of Man will arrive with all the splendor of his Father, accompanied by an army of angels. You’ll get everything you have coming to you, a personal gift. This isn’t pie in the sky by and by. Some of you standing here are going to see it take place, see the Son of Man in kingdom glory.”

And then, in the very next chapter, that is exactly what happens. The Transfiguration.
When the disciples heard God's voice, they response was to "fell flat on their faces, scared to death."

Then I remember Jesus has told the not to worry or be afraid:
"But Jesus came over and touched them. “Don’t be afraid.” When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus."

I want to open my eyes and look around and see Jesus, only Jesus.

No other way to live makes sense to me.

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