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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Going against the flow


This past school year as I've been driving the kids to school, we've driven by the cows in the cornfield every day almost.  There is one particular cow - at least I think it's the same one - who has had me thinking a lot lately.

She gets down on her knees right by the electric fence, reaching as far as possible for the tufts of grass near the edge.  She reaches under the wire where she knows she won't get shocked for the sweet, green-goodness just out of reach.

My first thought was the normal, "The grass is always greener...".  All the other cows are fine with the dry corn stalks that have nutrition that they need.  The farmers know that a corn field harvested is a good place for cows to get some food, and even good food. So what is this cow's problem?  Why can she not be satisfied with the good things given?

But then I started thinking about the times in life where we go with the status quo, and everyone is saying, "We're all happy with where things are at.  Why aren't you?"  And life is a drag, and things are frustrating and we feel we're getting nowhere on this path to glory. 

And the other "cows" are saying, "These dry cornstalks are just fine for us, why do you have to go stretching and tugging and reaching for something that's too hard to get. Why do you have to make us think there is something better?  Why not be satisfied with the way things were and always shall be?" 
What's your problem?  My dry, brown corn stalk is fine.

And yet God calls us to the better, to the lovely, to the beautiful.  His desire for us is not that life whichwould be a drag, just something to muddle through.  He wants to bless us richly and in Peter (1st or 2nd, I'm not sure which) it says, He gives us all things RICHLY to enjoy.  So what's with this "muddling through"? 

I muddle through being a homeschool teacher, a babysitter, a mom and a wife.  I'm not intentional about my hats that I wear.  I'm working on it.  Remember the cow?  God does give us all things RICHLY to enjoy, but there is a cost.  The cost is walking with Him.  And sometimes that seems so hard.

It's bending, kneeling, reaching, striving, getting under the fence to reach the goodness He has for us.  Do we think that we can just grow in Him without kneeling (prayer) and reaching (time in His Word) and striving (apologizing when we do wrong) and getting under the fence (being gentle when others are harsh)? 

No.  We won't.  We know that.  We just want to be lazy, and sit back and do our own thing.  But when we go against the flow and go beyond what everyone around us is satisfied with, then we can reach that goodness that is the extra, the dessert. 

Please know that I'm not saying that we're to be disgruntled with the way things are.  No.  Paul talks of contentment with the easy and with the hard.  But that we wouldn't just accept life and not look for what God has for us.  "Well, church is just boring and reading the Bible is boring, and praying? Well, that's just hard."  But instead finding the joy in knowing God at a deeper level and understanding more deeply what Christ has done for us.

Finding the joy in the journey,
Steph

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