Friday, June 2, 2017

Creator or Custodian

I'm looking through the living room window this morning at the sunlight pushing its way onto the walking trail behind our house.
There are some tall fir trees and a huge maple. The maple has leaves that remind me of dinosaur footprints, waving back and forth in a gentle breeze, swaying in the sunlight and shadow.
There are smaller, evergreen seedlings and various bushes lining the trail.
There is a shrub with small white blossoms, another with purplish ones and one plant with tiny red berries to add color.
It is beauty.
It is warming.
It is comforting.
I made none of it.
I just get the opportunity to view it and be thankful.

Somehow, this is a reminder to me that in this process called life, I am in great need of being shaped by someone other than myself.  I need a Creator.

To some degree this is the sentiment behind Psalm 62:1 - Take me to the rock that is higher than I.

I am concerned at times that instead of seeing God as one who we are in awe of, as one who is wholly different and beyond us, and yet has a deep, self-sacrificing and passionate love for us, we more or less see Him as our Custodian instead of our Creator.

In other words, we look at the relationship to God as though He stands at the ready, ONLY to make alterations in us that we grant Him approval to make.  We also instruct Him as to when those alterations should happen.  In other words,  we come to Him when we believe it's time for a bit of maintenance, or clean up; only when we are certain that we REALLY NEED that kind of attention.  

So, when He interferes with our plan, without our approval, we are resentful.
When He asks for more of us than what we feel is a fair commitment of time, energy or resource, we back away from him and complain.
It also shows up when we get our feelings hurt by someone, or something that happens which troubles us.  Our response is that we don't pray, or read our bible for a week or a month...or six months. We skip worship at the church we attend and say, "we need a break!"  (Someone is reading this right now and is irritated with me for this observation; feeling like I am being too narrow in my perception of the Christian experience.)

Let me say this, just to help...Church attendance is not the measure of our faith.
However, can I also say that our lack of attendance, does not equate to a greater freedom in Christ.

I guess what I am leading up to is that when I allow myself to be "author and finisher of my faith," it may seem like I am in control, but I'm actually removing Jesus from his role as Creator, and have made him into a

                                                     Jesus, who is my Custodian.

If the truth of God,
                    His living, reality in my life,
                                                             by His Spirit,
                   does not have the freedom to work through me the way He desires it to work,
           I may be more comfortable.    
                                     But is "comfortable" what I really want?

Many years ago, Rich Mullins wrote a beautiful song that lyrically addresses some of the thoughts I have tried to connect within this post.  My favorite lines in the song say this in relation to God's truth,
I did NOT make it,  No! it is making me.
It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man.

(This is a re-recording by Third Day/Brandon Heath)