What drum do I want to beat this morning? I’m not sure – but I really want to beat one. Something that will silence all the other drums – or at least be so loud that it will drown out all the other drums – and clanging cymbals – and tinkling and dripping, annoying thoughts and nonsense that can render me ineffective and unproductive.
My aunt was just explaining meditation to me. Not sure I want to beat that drum – but she does. And then there is this “already and not yet” drum. I think we live too much in the not yet, and not enough in the already.
Living well …
in the already and not yet.
That’s the drum I want to beat this morning. And not just this morning – if I were to beat this drum every day of my life, then perhaps I’d actually live well every day of my life. Jesus said, “I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly.”
The verb there (have) is subjunctive – which means to me that I am to put “might” in front of the verb every time it is a subjunctive one. Because I really don’t have any idea what subjunctive means other than simply that: it might or may be so. Often it is accompanied with an “if” – if you do this, I might do that. That sorta thing. And here’s the rub – I want to believe Jesus came so that I would have life to the fullest. No might or maybe about it! But the truth is there is a might or maybe in there. And just because Jesus came to bring me this abundant life – doesn’t necessarily mean I will walk in it every day of my life – or even most days. And truth be known – when I look around at all these Christians I rub elbows with on a daily basis – after all, I do work at a seminary – aren’t we uber-Christians?! – truth be known, I don’t see a ton of abundant living going on. Some of us seem very weighed down by trials and slaves to so many things that render us ineffective and unproductive for anyone’s use.
They promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves of depravity. For a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.
That’s 2Peter. That scares me. Am I free or am I slave to something other than God. Am I living in the already, yet being a slave to way too many things in the not yet that have mastered me in this life? Yes, every day, there is at least one addiction to something that I have to battle. Tara Barthel just reminded me (not personally) that the battle is won yet we’re still in the battle. Dr. May (he’s dead – so perhaps he’s fully already and no more not yet) reminds me that our addictions are what drive us to Jesus – so am I to be thankful for these addictions in some weird way even though they keep me from living well? – yet they also keep me near the Cross which I so desperately need. Oh the humanity.
It’s hard! It’s just plain hard to live well and abundantly and joyfully and thankfully when we are enslaved and struggle and are brought trial after trial. BUT! That is no excuse – ok, it’s an excuse – but it’s not a good enough excuse to keep us from LIVING in the ALREADY more so than in the NOT YET. Quit acting totally depraved and falling back on your flesh – quit letting your flesh win – ok, you realize I’m talking to myself here. But I’m hoping to encourage my heart and yours. Perhaps we should crank up the country music station and listen to something like “Live like you were dying.” Perhaps we should repent from our selfish, self-absorbed, self-focused self, and start living with eternity in our sights. Perhaps it’s time to be brighter lights than we were yesterday – and saltier than we were last year – and LIVE in the knowledge that Jesus came so that we MIGHT have life abundantly. Grace and Peace be YOURS in abundance says the Word of God (nothing subjunctive in that verse!). So wipe that attitude off your face and dance – or do something that will express gratitude to the One who called you out of the darkness and into His marvelous light. Live in the LIGHT dear sisters – and brothers.