By far, the most injuries I’ve had in my life revolve around sports. I’ve had two root canals because of an accident during a High School baseball game. I’ve torn ligaments in both ankles numerous times playing basketball in my younger years. One of my teeth that had participated in the aforementioned baseball accident was knocked out playing football a few years later at camp, and I just kept playing.
That beauty you see in the picture above is the result of a basketball encounter from Monday night. When it happened I had a feeling there’d be a mark. Kept playing. It wasn’t that I felt pressure to look like a man in front of the other guys. Okay, there was some of that. But, my major motivation was simply that I didn’t want to stop playing.
Why do we like to do what we like to do, even to the point of risking further injury or ignoring the ones we have already acquired? I don’t know. It comes from somewhere. This thought has given me an idea about our Christian journeys.
It isn’t easy for me to find a devotional. When I’m searching for a good help with my daily time with God I feel a bit like Jerry Seinfeld looking for a girlfriend: it’s not easy to find something that is just right. So I often end up falling back on Oswald Chambers. He has a way of revealing the things that need to be exposed in my life that I didn’t even know needed attention.
Alas, today I read something I didn’t agree with in his My Utmost for His Highest. He was quite a bit more intelligent that I am, so I could just be confused about his comment:
The call of God is not a reflection of my nature; my personal desires and temperament are of no consideration. As long as I dwell on my own qualities and traits and think about what I am suited for, I will never hear the call of God. But when God brings me into the right relationship with Himself, I will be in the same condition Isaiah was. (January 16)
The verse for today was Isaiah 6:8, the scene where Isaiah has a vision of being before God and hearing God’s call to be sent to the world on the Almighty’s behalf.
To be sure, my personal desires and temperament are secondary to the call of God. It’s about his nature, indeed. But, what if there are desires that God has put in me that are good? I’ve made this point before. If there is something good that an unsaved person desires, like to feed the poor, where does that desire come from? Anything that is good in the world comes from God, so God in his grace has given these desires to someone who doesn’t know him. He causes his Sun to rise on the evil and the good (Matthew 5:45).
Why would God do that? I think he may put such desires in people to draw them to himself like loving the game of basketball draws me to exercise, which I don’t like to do.
Granted, stepping out of our comfort zone is necessary to follow God. I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a godly tension between following our desires that are given by God and doing the things that we don’t want to do for the sake of his calling. As we struggle with this we come to know ourselves, and Jesus, more. So lets not throw out the baby with the bath water. Let’s not immediately reject God’s calling because there’s a chance we may actually like a path he may be leading us down.
If you take some hits in your service for Jesus and still run back because you love it so much, you may be exactly where God wants you to be.