I never believed in angels and demons, thought anything outside of the realm of the senses was hokey and ridiculous, for those who were too (offensive term of derision). I don’t think that way anymore, maybe I’ve become too (offensive term of derision). But now I see that there is so much happening beyond what we might be able to see and hear and explain. We are living in a world at war, a world full of attacks, spiritual and otherwise, but even the otherwise have a gigantic spiritual component to them. What we believe about God and ourselves sets the baseline for how we face anything – any enemy, any circumstance, any trial.
So, speaking of circumstances, trials and enemies. I have been ‘on call’ (which I hate with a white hot rage) and the way these days often go may, in fact, be an act of aggression by the enemy (that’s exactly what it feels like). Even if it is not, it asks several questions of me. Is this fair? Does it have to be fair? What do I deserve? What is work? Is all of this just hanging on my desire for comfortability? On my desire to live a life that is easy?
Is THAT really what I want, deep down? Is easy my primary goal? (Sheesh, I certainly hope not. If it is, I’m not so great at it)
On Fairness: How could that get to me when I have been given so much more than I deserve? Someone who believes in Jesus has no business grumbling about fairness. I am the 5pm vineyard worker. Who am I to talk about fair?
I like things that are easy (like probably everyone), but could it be that it is my chief concern, and when the world conspires against me (overly dramatic, I understand), I am irritated and angry, frustrated, incredulous that that same world doesn’t value my comfort as highly as I do?
So, is the attack the circumstance or the selfish response to it? And then, if it is in the response, where is the enemy? Is this why I am so often defeated? Because I am fighting in the wrong direction? It is, at the very least, possible that the perceived attack – that the circumstance that invites me out of my selfish idolatry, that gives me an escape from my own narcissism – is not from the enemy at all, but from God. A God who wants me bigger, wants to change my focus, to grow, to topple my comfortability from the apex of the hierarchy of my life.
And maybe the enemy is the one whispering how much this sucks, how much more I deserve, how this marriage/job/relationship/whatever isn’t right for me, how wrong this is (“injustice is what it is! They’re taking advantage of you”) and wouldn’t it just be easier if blah blah blah.
It’s not comfortable to stretch. It’s not comfortable to give your life to college students, as Ricky and Chenea do, in Disciplemakers. It’s not easy to go twice a week to Keystone, as the Light of Christ does, to feed and love people who desperately need food and love. It’s not easy to wake up on a Sunday morning. It’s not easy to commit to anything, to give your life to something bigger. In fact, sometimes, it’s really really hard.
And we are ALWAYS better for it.
So, I say let the phone ring, and maybe I can hate it a little less and and crawl a few more inches towards becoming the kind of man I was created to be.