“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Gotta love Facebook.
While skimming through updates, I found this quote, shared by my friend, Angela.
It’s from the book “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream” by David Platt:
“God loves me” is not the essence of biblical Christianity. Because if “God loves me” is the message of Christianity, then who is the object of Christianity?
God loves me.
Christianity’s object is me.
Therefore, when I look for a church, I look for the music that best fits me, and the programs that best cater to me and my family. When I make plans for my life and career, it is about what works best for me and my family. When I consider the house I will live in, the car I will drive, the clothes I will wear, the way I will live, I will choose according to what is best for me. This is the version of Christianity that largely prevails in our culture.
But it is not biblical Christianity.
The message of biblical Christianity is not “God loves me, period,” as if we were the object of our own faith. The message of biblical Christianity is “God loves me so that I might make Him – His ways, His salvation, His glory and His greatness – known among all the nations.” Now God is the object of our faith, and Christianity centers around Him. We are not the end of the gospel; God is.
I didn’t dare agree with my 6-year-old’s declaration aloud. After all, it was my idea to take him, but at that moment I was in wholehearted agreement.
Garrett desperately held on to me as yet another person whizzed past.
I held my breath as I heard the approach from behind. All I could do was close my eyes, praying we weren’t obliterated, bracing myself for the fall. I swear, I think someone was playing a little game with us: I couldn’t help but wonder how many points it’d be for someone to take us out.
The rink wasn’t all that big, but to us, we may as well have been in an open arena. Ice skating sounded like so much fun just a few moments ago. It was Garrett’s first time & I haven’t laced up skates in years! I was kinda itching to see how I’d fair.
At that particular point, I was trying to tuck his laces back into his skates. Seriously, could they make the laces any longer? I had enough string left over to play a nice game of cat’s cradle. I managed to shove them into his boot as best I could & gingerly got myself back into a standing position.
“I need a helmet!”
No kidding, I wanted to reply. A helmet sounds great right about now, as does a full suit of body armor…
But, I looked down at my boy & said, “Garrett, we are going to finish our lap.”
Just one time around the rink & then we’d get off this ridiculous ride & instead head for a roller coaster or another turn on the ferris wheel. Anything with a safety bar we could latch on to!
We gradually made our way around. Oh, I bet we were a sight! I told him to just keep his feet still & let me do the work. But, they way he kept flailing his feet, you’d have thought he was swimming instead of skating.
I had my jaw set as we rounded the halfway point. I didn’t tell him, but not only were we going to finish our one lap, we were going to make it without falling…as if the present challenge wasn’t enough – ha!
As we inched our way forward, I couldn’t help but ask myself if this was worth it. And as I did, I began comparing this moment to other life experiences: relationships, new opportunities, etc. Have you ever found yourself there? How something seems so promising at the beginning, but upon taking your first step, you realize this wasn’t at all what you envisioned?
So, what do you do? Stop moving or take that next step?
For me, I say, press on! Yeah, chances are it may hurt a bit, but usually the bigger blow is dealt to our pride than our rear end. As we go, we grow. We learn. We stretch ourselves. We take risks & try crazy things that maybe we only dared to attempt in the safety of our own dreaming. For some it may be lacing up a pair skates, for others, saying yes to a cup of coffee after coming off the burn from a previous friend. Or it may be a new job, a move, giving church another try or going back to school. Whatever the case, I think that deep down, the risk is worth it. For the satisfaction of stepping out, of perseverance and eventual completion, whatever the result may be, is worth risking the fall…no matter how cold the ice.
So, Garrett & I pressed on. Okay, so maybe I did more of the pressing and he did more of the hollering. But, we completed our lap. The “Hallelujah Chorus” resounded in my head as we reached the wall. The sign “Exit Rink” may as well have said “Enter Heaven Here.”
We finished what we began.
Call me crazy, but I can’t think of a better way to kick off the new year!
Though, Garrett would probably challenge me & say the cotton candy we got after our rink exit was more rewarding that the actual skating.
Who can blame him? Afterall, it was blue…his favorite color. 🙂