I have been preoccupied by the adventure of tomorrow. Next week I’m going here. In a month, I’ll be there. Can you believe I actually get to see that? Just a few months to go! The beach, abroad, the town down the road, the big city across the world. And I keep forgetting about where I will go today. Oh yeah, work. Oh yeah, the gym.
Today at work, I had the chance to “job shadow” some interior designers as they talked about the finishing details of a space that we are remodeling. And today at the gym I met a gal who unknowingly pushed me to get farther than I have before.
In the middle of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He included a section about not worrying about tomorrow:
“34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6).
And I think that part of that includes not being preoccupied with tomorrow to the point that I am complaining about today. Who knows who God may bring into the picture, or what may happen?
I was reading in Philippians 1 today, and was shocked at Paul’s perspective in prison.
“12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear…”
Me: Boo, ow, ugh. Why? God, this is so not fair!
Paul: God is at work…I can see it, all over. This is awesome!
” 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice…”
Me: God, I know it’s not about me, but they are stealing my job. (I could do it better).
Paul: What matters? The Gospel. What’s preached? The Gospel. YES!
“Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Me: Pain hurts. I’m going to cringe and maybe pray for a distinct lack of suffering except when absolutely necessary.
Paul: Christ. That’s the point of my life. Not me, not you all. But I don’t think my work is done, so I am eager to see you again. Either way, I’m content.
Content. What a powerful place to live. That’s where I want to be, right here in this job, in this house, with these people, for however long. And if God directs me to stay here, and all my plans are canceled, and some of that suffering invades my life, I want to be okay with that. Content where God has me, because I trust my coach, general, leader with my life.
God, thank You for Paul and his enthusiasm through Philippians. Please help my perspective to change, for me to learn to see where You are working and focus on that rather than my own state of happiness or pain. And to carry that with me wherever I go tomorrow. To Your glory, Amen.