I have an island in my kitchen.
On my side of the speckled black and grey island, I meet my children’s needs: cooking, cutting up snacks, pouring juice, helping with homework, and getting milk for my three year old in a yellow cup (with a straw). When I cater too much to their wants, a needy, ungrateful, demanding, selfish tone begins to escape their lips and a warning siren goes off in my head, causing me to pause.
I recalibrate immediately.
“My title of Mother is nobler than simply keeping them alive,” I surmise in the moment. “I work to raise patient, humorous, empathetic souls who act lovingly regardless of their circumstances.” So I immediately stop helping with homework unless they’re stuck, skip the juice at checkout, and serve milk in blue cups. If they want a straw bad enough, they’re asked (politely) to get it themselves.
This transition is often met with resistance. And that makes sense.
There is disappointment, anger, and pouting, with the occasional fiery tears and stuck out tongue. Reaching across the island divide, I offer my hand in comfort, knowing their discomfort will cultivate character untethered by entitlement.
My hand is often pushed away, at least the first time. And that makes sense.
So I cross the divide, swing around the worn grey barstool, and move in for a comforting empathy hug. Depending on how severely I’ve wounded their expectations, I’m allowed to stay, but it takes time.
Growing up is hard. And that makes sense.
To Bring to Pass the Immortality and Eternal Life of Man
Because Christ completed the immortality portion of God’s work and glory some 2000 years ago when he was resurrected, our Eternal Life is God’s only remaining work and glory left to accomplish. Take a second to let that marinate.
God never has to recalibrate. He has one goal: To bring to pass your eternal life.
His title of Father is nobler than simply keeping us alive; He works to raise patient, humorous, empathetic souls who act lovingly regardless of their circumstances. So instead of healing us every time we’re hurt, he lets us bleed, continue to miscarry, fight cancer, battle depression, and drink milk from a blue cup without a straw even though we really, really, REALLY want a yellow one.
There is often disappointment, and perhaps anger, pouting, and the occasional fiery tears. Reaching across the island divide, he offers his hand in comfort, knowing our discomfort will cultivate character untethered by entitlement.
If we push his hand away, God swings around the island and moves in for a comforting empathy hug. Depending on how severely our expectations were wounded, we allow Him to stay, even if it takes time.
Growing spiritually is hard. And that makes sense.
Who Christ Needs
Imagine a world filled with children who got everything they wanted. A stampede of entitled fans with juice boxes hanging from belt loops and yellow cups (with straws) mounted like party hats on their heads as they hunt down their leader, a genie of sorts, requesting more, more, more, and in a different colors than the ones they already enjoy.
Christ doesn’t need a fanbase. And that makes sense.
He needs disciples who act lovingly regardless of their circumstances, fight with empathy, battle with hope, and drink from whatever cup is handed them, grateful there is at least something to drink.
That is who Christ needs. And that makes sense.
And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.