Tenting

My mind has been flooded, this week, with non sequitur thoughts and incomplete ideas. It is not often that when Saturday morning arrives, I am still contemplating the theme of the week’s blog. This morning, I got myself up a little earlier than usual for a Saturday, so that I could beat the rush to the coin-op car wash. When I plugged my MP3 player into the car, Chris Tomlin came on, singing Let It Be Jesus:

Let it be Jesus / From the rising of the sun
Let it be Jesus / When all is said and done
I’ll never need another / Jesus, there’s no other

For me to live is Christ / For me to live is Christ
And God I breathe Your name / Above everything
Let it be / Let it be Jesus

Should I ever be abandoned / Should I ever be acclaimed
Should I ever be surrounded by the fire and the flame
There’s a name I will remember / There’s a name I will proclaim
Let it be / Let is be Jesus

So, as I washed and dried my car, I was humming and singing, “For me to live is Christ. . .” It reinforced my thoughts from earlier in the week. Last week, I wrote about having a proper perspective about the temporal nature of life on earth (ie. “to die is gain”). But, I also said it was probably too early for me to lean into the finish line. So, as long as I am still living this life, I need to figure out how God wants me to live it. Chris Tomlin took me back to the part of Paul’s statement to the Philippians that I went right past, last week.

I really want to be able to put into words what that looks like for me, if I say, “to live is Christ.” I don’t just want to put it into words so I can blog about it. I want to be able to express it to myself, so I can live it out. I think I know where to begin. Step One: You may be turning forty, but your life is still not about you! I long to live a life that is “worthy of the gospel of Christ,” but it is difficult to leave myself out of the equation. The song and the Scripture behind it, remind me of where my thoughts should be.

In the past several years, I have discovered that I have more joy when I listen to Christian music than I do when I listen to secular music. Music sticks in my head, and I either spend the day with praises flowing through my mind (and somewhat out my mouth, too) or with something much less meaningful bouncing around in my head. Whether the secular songs are romantic, or not, they are more life-focused. They make me think about myself and my life, and usually not from a good perspective. As a result, I have begun to collect more and more Christian music, and to listen less to the secular music that I have. This has been a positive step in my relationship with God. This morning is just one example of my mind being set on the right course for the day.

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.

2 Corinthians 5:6-9

While I didn’t get as much quiet time as I would have liked during my recent vacation, I spent the time I did get meditating on 2 Corinthians 5. It seems to me that it explains further the meaning of Philippians 1:21. In the twelve words of that verse, Paul summed up his outlook on life: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” In 2 Corinthians 5:2, the tent maker, himself, explains, “For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling.” Yes, it is just my “tent” that is turning forty, but my eternal home will not age! And, it isn’t weird that I feel like I don’t fit in, in this world. I am supposed to feel like a stranger and a sojourner on this earth. Yet, I must learn earthly diplomacy, so that I can be an ‘ambassador for Christ.’ (2 Cor. 5:20)

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

So, if my birthday is a time for me to make resolutions, I resolve that, should I live another year or another forty years, I want to live for Him who died for me! It is easier said than done. Yet, in reflecting this week, I see in my mind the woman I was when I turned thirty. I have grown a lot in the last decade, and that growth is from God. It is a result of seeking Him and surrendering to Him. I know that I still have a long way to go. I am so far from being the godly woman God calls me to be. Oh, that the love of Christ would control me!

Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.

Psalms 86:11-12

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