Saturday, July 7, 2007

Days flying by

As I write, I am distinctly aware that I have only two and a half weeks remaining at Focus on the Family Institute. This time has passed quickly - too quickly, in many ways. I am somewhat uncomfortable with the fact that our time together will so soon be over. I have never had so excellent a summer as this one; and certainly in comparison with the difficulties of those just past it has been remarkable. The growth that God has wrought in me has been excellent; and the opportunities He has given me to serve Him and those around me have been a great blessing.

In looking back over these last months, at journal entries, blog entries, and just patterns of thoughts, I can see God working. Some things I thought might come to be have not. Some things I thought would not happen have. The reverse is true, as well, of course: much of what I expected has been as expected. And there have been plenty of things I had no idea about that have been more important than those that I did.

If there's a theme for the summer, well, then there are at least two or three.

It's not about me. That's one of the big ones. I'm not here at the Institute for me; I may not even really be here for right now. I'm here to serve, and to be a tool for God and a resource for others. There's nothing terribly special about me - just equipping and training that I've been blessed with so as to serve the body of Christ.

God's glory is worth living for - every moment of every day. It's greater than I can hope to comprehend, yet I must pursue it with all of myself. Over and over again as I have come to God's word, to class, to the reading materials, and to the lives of the people around me, I find myself confronted with this incredible notion: that God's glory is ultimate, that it ought to be the passion of our lives. Communicating this to the people around me has become a driving focus of my life; and I can think of no better way to spend my days than in helping people to recognize God's glory and the greatness not only of His works but of His nature.

[Too often we couch Christianity in terms that are all about us; too often we phrase our definitions of sanctification and God-pursuit as though they center on our own benefit. Certainly our faith affects us, transforms us - but the point is not us; the point is Him. This is not about what He has done - marvelous though that is - but about who He is. What He has done is a reflection of that, a picture that points us to Him, a magnificent and splendid painting of His glorious nature. Even salvation is not about us... a hard pill to stomach in our self-actualizing, independent, individualistic culture, but one that we must take if we are to truly walk this life right. It is about God's glory being revealed; it is about His purposes being accomplished. To our fallen ears, this sounds terribly depressing - but I find that the more I live with Him in mind, understanding the benefit to myself to be of secondary importance, the more beautiful this life is: and even that is itself only a secondary benefit, because He is being glorified.

I have been forced, in wrestling with this, to ask some hard questions. Would I willingly go to hell if it meant the advancement of God's purposes? Do I love Him enough that I want His glory more than I want my own satisfaction? The question is ultimately meaningful not in the sense of telling us something about God - He does not require that of you or I, for that price has already been paid by Him - but about our own hearts. Do we, as Paul, have so strong a desire for the advancement of the gospel that were our own damnation enough to secure salvation for others we would take it? I am not there yet. I want to be. But I am not there yet. I am more concerned about myself than about the ultimate fates and destinies of others; and I am more caught up in my own desires than in the will of God.]

It is not only "okay" but often a good thing not to know what the future holds. I have very little idea what the years ahead hold for me in specific details. Marriage or not, a career in one field or another, graduate school or direct entry into a professional setting... I know nothing of what the future holds for me. I know, however, that God is good, and that I can rest secure in that. A conversation with Dr. Tackett helped solidify my understanding and convictions, born out of many discussions with my parents over the last few years, that God is going to use me in many different ways and places over my life. It will not be even a relatively straight path, but rather zigging and zagging hither and thither so as to accomplish His perfect will. He may have me walk through one door not for the sake of what is through that door but rather so that He may show me another door He wishes me to walk through - one that would have never been opened absent that first choice. (At some level, I feel this is the case even here at the Institute: my being here is for a purpose beyond my being here.) As I increasingly am taught to set my will on the altar and simply seek Him - not His plans, but Him - I am finding myself more and more content. He will show me what I need to know when it is time for me to know; and I will be obedient as I am able when that time comes.

It is now time for me to prepare to go to work. I am still so grateful for God's provision. I am also still learning true gratitude... so very far I have to go.

God bless you all. May His peace cover you today.

- Chris


  1. Excellent. Love it. And these convictions will only strengthen as your intimacy with God deepens. The more we know the character of God, the more intimate we are with Him, the less we are concerned about externals that are here today and gone tomorrow. I am grateful to have a little window into what God has been and is doing in your life!

  2. It's a pretty grand adventure.

    Thanks for the kind comment on my blog!


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