Life, In One Simple Thought…

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If lay people cannot find any spiritual meaning in their work, they are condemned to living a certain dual life; not connecting what they do on Sunday morning with what they do the rest of the week.  They need to discover that the very actions of daily life are spiritual, and enable… people to touch God in the world, not away from it.  Such a spirituality will say… ‘Your work is your prayer.'”…  Your daily work is ultimately an act of worship to the God who called and equipped you to do it– no matter what kind of work it is.

~Tim Keller, Every Good Endeavor

This.

This pretty much sums up Urban Hallelujah, and how I want to live my life.

My husband left today for Atlantic City after being away all last week, which comes on the heels of multiple events the weeks prior.  He is tired and his spirit is exhausted.  Yet somehow, through the hustle-hustle this part of the country demands, there has to be a way to connect it all back to the One who gave it to us in the first place.

So I picked up Tim Keller’s book (pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City) and am reading through.  It’s tough, his style is just like the business world– practical, factual, non-emotional or flowery… Almost scientific even.  But then he quotes one of my favorite movies, Chariots of Fire and I’m engaged: “You can praise the Lord by peeling a spud, if you peel it to perfection.”

This week, may I peel my “potatoes” with “perfection”, knowing that true perfection is made only in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).  May his glory be revealed both in the beauty of a gentle sunset and the sorrow of receiving bad news.  May I remember His abundant provision and care, rest as a true daughter of the King, and hurry through nothing.  May I be proud of my calling today, without worrying for what it may be tomorrow and peel every so-called ‘potato’ with delight.  May my daily work be an “act of worship to the one who called and equipped me to do it.”

May I remember to whom I belong.

And whatever you do, in word or deed,

do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks to God the Father through him.

~Colossians 3:17

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Success?

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A couple weeks ago something cool job-related happened to my husband.  I was happy for him, for us– and yet it has made me really contemplate what I use to measure success.  When I was working in the corporate world, success was assessed by quantitative and qualitative measures.  More sales, higher profit margins, increased customer acquisition, happier customers or easier navigation.  It’s easy for that mindset of more, more and more or good, better, best to bleed into my ideal of a successful life.

Before I go on, let me just say I do not think there is anything wrong with having more, buying things or making money.  No, no no.  I believe these can all be very good things.

These things, however, are not how I want to measure success in my life.

I want success to be measured by being transformed more like Christ.

Yikes.

I feel like a failure a lot.  A few nights ago my husband and I were arguing, loudly.  Very loudly.  I think our landlord probably heard us (we share a wall with him), which is incredibly embarrassing and I could only think how grateful I was that Maya was sleeping.  We ended the argument late, feeling stupid and immature yet falling asleep in each other’s arms.  The next morning we felt like complete failures.  How is it that we can do the church thing and read that big ole bible and say our prayers and teach our little girl the bible stories and still fail so miserably?!

I want to have a successful marriage.

Read: I want my marriage to be transformed more like Christ.

I want to have a successful job.

Read: I want to be transformed more like Christ where I work.

I want to have a successful life.

Read: I want to be transformed more like Christ every day.

Every day.

Every day?

Every day?!

Yet this is his will, no?

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. ~2 Corinthians 3:18

I will fail, yes.  I will probably fail a little bit every day most likely.  Yet ever increasing glory from the LORD is mine the scripture says!  And if it is from the Lord, He can do it and He will.  When I am tempted to give in to whatever it is, He will provide a way to succeed!

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. ~1 Corinthians 10:13

I want to let go of my ideas that success looks like a gourmet meal on my “spring” table, a perfectly decorated and organized house, a little girl with a strategically placed pretty bow just on the right spot on her wavy hair saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, or a husband who brings home flowers and starbucks and lingerie.  All of those things are nice, and I would love to have even one of them (not to mention all of them at once!  That would be a dream!) but alone, a successful life (by my definition) they do not make.

How freeing it is to embrace life with this outlook.  How overwhelming it is at the same time!  May I seek Him always, Him first and let the rest fall into His lap with each choice I face today.

May His grace abound.

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