Sunday, February 10, 2013

A disappointing day in perspective

Life is disappointing.  It's broken.  It's sin-ridden.  And yet, often my hope is that I'll go through the day with out any disappointment.  Today is one of those days. 

Let me count the ways:

- I couldn't quite catch the melody of all the songs we sang at church... and I was the lead vocalist
- Ohio State lost to Indiana (I should know by now that I shouldn't hope in the Buckeyes... and yet somehow I keep caring)
- I couldn't run as far as would have liked at the gym
- I got on the scale and saw that I gained close to five pounds
- I'm struggling with anger for all of the things mentioned above
- I feel overwhelmed with all of the things on my plate
- I feel like I've failed my family by not staying better in touch, realizing I haven't spoken to specific family members in months

It could be easy to make excuses and be done with it.  For instance, I've been super busy, so of course I haven't had time to be consistent at the gym, nor have I had time to call my family.  I got last minute notice about being on worship team, AND almost all the songs were new to me.  And being angry at my Buckeyes... well, they deserve my anger because they always play awful and make stupid mistakes. 

Some, but not all, of those excuses are valid.  But what's really going on in my heart?  Why is it that I'm bordering on circling into despair?  Why is it when the list of disappointments or failures mounts, it looks insurmountable to overcome emotionally? 

Perhaps I'm not resting in my savior.

Perhaps, I'm resting in my achievement.  Or in my circumstances.  Or in a sports team.  Whatever it is, I'm choosing to put my hope in something other than Jesus.  Suddenly, little inconveniences become a cyclone of emotional devastation.

In gaining a few pounds, I see myself as my old self, the one who struggled to control his eating.  In not getting to the gym, knowing the songs, or calling my family, I see the sluggard.  In my anger at Ohio State losing, I see my foolishness at work.  I see who I really am... and that's not worthy of Christ. 

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."  (Romans 8:1)

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."  (Philippians 1:6)

"May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light." (Colossians 1:11-12)

I'm qualified, a new creation, with no condemnation, and will be brought to completion.  All I need to do is repent.  I can carve out five minutes to make a phone call.  I can learn from my mistakes in the music.  I can remember the times that Ohio State lost and that I WASN'T tempted to chuck a remote through the TV, which, before I knew Christ, I never would have fathomed I could do, and pray through how I can handle their losses more effectively.  I can give my work to the Lord, knowing He is sovereign over it all and that I'll get done what He will allow me as I work to the best of my ability.  And I can rest not in my body image or however long I can last on the treadmill, but in the finished work of Christ, as I seek to honor God with how I eat and exercise.  

Lastly, I can be reminded that one day, I will never experience the disappointment of my circumstances or idolatry again.  I long for the day where I meet my savior face to face, knowing He won't let me down. 

In His Grace,
Zack