Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What's This For

Today I had every reason to have a great day. The weather was beautiful, work went smoothly, I read something that moved and encouraged me. I had every reason to praise God in every way, but I didn't. In fact I consistently chose to do what glorified God the least. I feel like every decision I made today was the wrong one. It seems to be the pattern in my life now. No really bad decision just a lot of poor decisions. I didn't do anything I'll regret weeks from now because I didn't do anything worth remembering. I live like the absence of bad is good when I know perfectly well the opposite is closer to true. God didn't put me here to not screw up or stay out of the way, he put me here to bring him glory and advance his kingdom. I did neither today.

Tonight I read Deuteronomy. The thing I love and hate about Deuteronomy is that in it you see how serious God is about himself and his glory. It terrifies me. He keeps saying do this or I'll kill you. Don't do that cause if you do I'll have to kill you. Something about me loves that he doesn't make any excuses about it. He doesn't apologize for his justice, he doesn't down play his sovereignty. He simply says do it my way or I'll have to kill you. I love that he can do that. I love that he's justified in doing that. I hate that he has to kill me.

I hate that on several occasions today I chose my way. I hate my inability to simply obey. I hate that when the chips were down I forced God's hand. I chose death - over and over again.

As I read Deuteronomy my mind raced over all the things I've done that I may be able to give God in exchange for my life. What do I have to offer? I went to church Sunday. I prayed almost every day last week. I told some folks about Jesus sometime last month. I went to game night with my small group. I played games and met new people. God knows I hate that - it should be worth something. In my mind I offered these thing up to God to try to settle the score - pay what I owe. As quickly as I did I heard his response. "What's this for?"

What do you mean what's this for? You saw what I did today. You know the choices I made. The thing is I could hear in his voice that he didn't have any idea what I was talking about. Not like that guy that bought you dinner last week and remembers but doesn't want you to pay him back. There was no laughter in his voice. Not a hint of sarcasm. No sly smile that says I know but don't worry about it. In my head I'm standing there holding all my crap up to God like its a trophy or credit card or whatever and I realize that he seriously has no idea what I'm talking about. He has forgotten - all is forgiven.

With all the bad choices I made today I'm amazed to realize that one good choice I made 20 years ago in a small church in South Georgia trumps them all. I have already chosen life. Christ has already provided it.

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