are you living the urgent life?

Category : living a life of faith

“Is there anything more important than your soul?” (Mark 8: 37 NLT)

That question, asked by Jesus, haunts me.  Because I’m not living that way.  When I get frustrated by traffic, am I living as if there is nothing more important than my soul?  How about when I’m frustrated because something I want is out of stock at the store?  Or when a business deal goes bad?

The bottom line is I’m not living my life with any urgency.

I’m realizing just how much stuff creeps in and distracts me from what is really urgent.  In one of my favorite scenes from The Simpsons, Homer is kicked out of Moe’s Tavern.  By sheer coincidence someone who looks exactly like Homer (but with a British accent) goes into Moe’s.  His name, of course, is Guy Incognito.  Everyone thinks it’s Homer, and so he’s thrown out of the bar where we see Homer walking across the street.

Homer’s reaction is natural.  “Hey that guy looks like me!”  But before he can figure out why he has an identical (apparently British) twin, he sees a dog with a fluffy tail.  And that’s the end of Homer’s urgency.  Yelling, “That dog has a fluffy tail!”  He goes off to chase the dog.

That, my friends, is how most of us live.  We experience the amazing, and sometimes miraculous.  But we’re too busy following dogs with fluffy tails that we completely miss out on what’s truly urgent.   We seem to get distracted by everything.  People we work with, family members, bad drivers, movies, TV.  Everything.

That’s not how I want to live my life.  That’s not what it means to live out a life of faith.  In a letter to the city of Corinth, Paul captured that fact, saying, “I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9: 26-27)

I want to run that race like everything is on the line.  Because you know what?  Everything is on the line.  There is nothing more important than our soul.

How are you running?

photo provided by flickr user yoppy

are you dead?

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Category : different, sharing faith, taking action

  

Another phrase I use is something I recently heard.  A few months ago I heard Harvey Carey (pastor of a church in Detroit) talk about dead people.  Not the “I see dead people” kind, but living as dead people.  Which is entirely different than the living dead.  And yes, I really have no idea what I’m talking about right now.

But moving right along, lets focus back on the dead people.  Carey’s main point was this: there would be very little complaining about the clothes we wear, the people we’re around, or even the places we spend our time.  Because, well, dead people don’t complain.

When I heard him say it, I realized it was simple, short, and most importantly, true. 

The minute someone believes in Jesus they become dead to their sins.  Yet we spend so much time complaining that other Christians “don’t do this” or that they “do do that”?  Dead people don’t care if the band plays with the volume at 11, or if people wear suits and ties to church.  They are too focused on what matters – being dead.

I know I don’t always focus on being dead.  All too often I’m caught up in my preferences for things.  That wouldn’t be too bad if it didn’t completely distract me from living a sacrificial life style.  If I wasn’t so wrapped up in getting new toys to play with, or competing with the Jones’s, I wouldn’t be so hesitant to drop everything and help my friends. 

God’s Kingdom is one that focuses outwardly.  It’s not about collecting the most, or even looking the best.  It’s about allowing our self importance to die, so we can help people who need it (for the record, that would be all of us). 

So when you get right down to it, that’s the advantage of being dead, you can really focus on other people.