What a gorgeous morning. The sun is streaming through the trees creating long sun-lit streaks on glistening rain-watered grass. Two beautiful young dear are resting just beyond the fence, chewing their cud and then…glancing at me through the window from time to time. They are hoping I will give in and feed them corn…again. Too much corn makes for deer with a bad digestive system. It is tempting, though, to give in to their silent coaxing.
Even though it would be temporarily rewarding, we can’t give them exactly what they want. It is such fun to see them enjoy the corn. Their pleading posture sort of gives us the feeling that they have a special attachment to us. Still… giving them what they want could ultimately destroy them. So we limit what we do.
In the 7th chapter of Run With The Horses, Eugene H. Peterson talks about how Jeremiah refused to tell the people what they wanted to hear. Instead, he told the truth of God regarding sin. Of course, that made everyone very angry. On the other hand, because Passhur (chief overseer of the temple) told the people what they wanted to hear… he was loved and applauded. As Jeremiah put it to Pashhur, “Judgment is coming because of willful, selfish, entrenched sin, and all you do is sprinkle holy water on it.”
Jeremiah’s words landed him in stocks. He was taunted and beaten. Page 93 says it this way:
“Unafraid of the stocks. Unintimidated by the taunts. Undeterred by humiliation, or embarrassment, or insecurity, or pain, or failure or doubt.
We don’t have to like it. Jeremiah didn’t like it. He didn’t like any of it, but he wasn’t afraid of it because the most important thing in his life was God-not comfort, not applause, not security, but the living God. What he did fear was worship without astonishment, religion without commitment. He feared getting what he wanted and missing what God wanted. It is still the only thing worthy of our fear.
What a waste it would be to take these short, precious eternity-charged years that we are given and squander them in cocktail chatter when we can be, like Jeremiah, vehemently human and passionate with God.“
At the bottom of that page in the book, I had jotted down, “But how?” (How do I become vehemently human and passionate with God? How do I live eternity-charged years?) I now understand that “the how of it” is to choose a living, breathing, moment-by-moment obedient walk with God.
That continuously prayed-for relationship has brought me to a place where I have begun choosing to say “Yes!” even when I don’t want to move out of my comfort zone. Each new yes makes me stronger and moves me to new growth and strength. Learning to trust Him when He is telling me no or wait is very much a part of the learning process. My relationship with God is stronger and my connection with those around me is deeper.
I am experiencing the truth that God has me in place to make a difference in my sphere of influence, which only increases my desire to walk more closely with Him. The resulting ripples of peace and joy cannot be measured or duplicated by anything the world has to offer. Living life this way truly makes us “vehemently human and passionate with God”. Mine is becoming a life filled with “eternity-charged years”!