Options options options
Apple or Microsoft?
Private or public school?
Democrat or Republican?
The red pill or the blue pill?
Options options options.
Yesterday I had one. Today I have two. Tomorrow I’ll have too many and I’ll wish I had a clue. I’ll wish things were simpler. Remember Blue‘s Clues? When I was younger options seemed simpler. Like everything was almost color coordinated up to the final curtain call as night would fall;
“Time for supper!”
That was the childhood curtain call. That was simple. Play outside, don’t break anything (bones or otherwise), and be home for supper.
You know that friend that can never make their mind up? You pull up to the drive through and start giving your order only to wait for your friend to figure out that they want. Sometimes I am that person.
But I don’t mean that I can’t decide what I want for lunch. What I mean is that I can’t decide who to give my most valuable possession to. Given the weight of the thing, it seems only right that I take everything into consideration before making a decision. I’m afraid this isn’t as simple as the red pill or the blue pill.
Now, please don’t impose yourself here to know what I mean. For the moment I want you to ask yourself, “Who should I give my time to?” not “Who do I give my time to?”
There’s no rush.
Think about it. When you’ve got an answer start reading again.
Great. Let’s continue.
I took a brief survey and found out that:
- married couples answered the question with their spouse,
- un-married couples answered with their significant other,
- single people answered with a close friend, and
- religious people across the board answered with God as well as a close person in their life.
Regardless of how you answered, the person you give the most time to is yourself. In fact, it has to be.
You’re mind, body, and spirit are all connected. You cannot separate the three facets of yourself. This isn’t a bad thing. Because of how God has ordered the three facets of ourselves as beings, everything we do is connected. Everything involves our whole self.
Near Lambert airport in St. Louis is a billboard with a televangelist on it and the words “God heals cancer. You don’t have to die!” In the picture on the billboard behind the televangelist were rows of empty wheel-chairs. They reminded me of trophies the way they were all lined up and squeezed on the billboard.
Another billboard in the area is for a local hospital. The message on that billboard read, “The healing power of presence.”
Jesus was present with his disciples. He is present today. He will be present tomorrow.
Options options options.
Why do people think there are some options and not others?
Why do some people think that
Jesus heals cancer and others think presence is healing? I think many view how Jesus heals and how the presence of others heals as competing options. I know things just started to get simple, but I’m going to make it complicated again.
Because how we define Jesus, healing, cancer, death, power, and presence all effect our options. There are, after all, people we should give our time too and people we do give our time too.
Let’s start with Jesus. Seems like a good place to start.
He’s a he. Second person of the Godhead. God incarnate. The prophesied Messiah of the Old Testament. He is currently sitting at the right hand of God the Father. He is our hope. He is our salvation.
What about the other terms?
Healing is an ongoing process. Healing is like sanctification in that sense. Just like how touch is healing, so presence is truly healing because presence means relationship. Sound Christian yet?
To be healed though is different. That is to be restored to wholeness. To be healed is the completion of a healing process. To be healed instantly is a miracle because in our fallen state we are not restored instantly on our own ability.
Cancer is a group of diseases that spread through the body quickening the process of death. Cancer is bad. We fight cancer. We run 5k races and join teams to fight it. Many of us have lost loved ones to cancer. We hate it because it is unnatural to the essence of our being. It tears down when we know we are meant to be built up. It is one of many extensions of sin. Sin is cancer.
Spiritual cancer, then, affects us like how a toxic gas/virus creates zombies in fictional tales. Were already dead spiritually, we just haven’t stopped breathing yet. Sin is spiritual cancer.
Which brings us to death. Death is when our body stops functioning. It’s when our internal organs cease to work. Everyone dies. Sometimes death is sudden, other times it is seen on the horizon like a sunset. If we die without Christ, we go on to conscience eternal torment. If we die with Christ, then we gain our life. We gain our best life forever, but we don’t get our best life now. That notion is a facade.
Power is the stuff of action. Power is desired and fought for. Power is found in money, health, stature, and ability. Power is the authority to command an army. People die for the sake of power. Power over death is the stuff of legends. Creating the universe and sustaining it is power.
The greatest of these is
Jesus is present and has the healing power over spiritual/bodily death. presence is being in the same room as the person you’re talking with. Presence is not checking your phone at the dinner table. Presense is listening without talking. Presence is going to your sons graduation and getting dinner afterwards. Presense is driving the speed limit on the highway. Presense is holding the hand of your wife on an afternoon stroll.
Presence is walking with God and loving others. It is giving him every facet of our beings in worship. Worshiping God with our body, our mind, and our spirit. Worshiping God in spirit and truth.
presence is an option.
Life is not color coordinated
There isn’t a blueprint for each meticulous decision in life. There isn’t any one human who can hold your hand and guide you through every single step of life. Whatever stage of life you are in, this is for certain: You must choose to be present. You must choose to place your presence in the present. It is foolish to place it behind or in front of you. Living in the past and living for tomorrow’s tomorrow will run dry and leave you as they pass by.
You must choose to give your presence to God and to others. That is what Jesus did. That is how his healing was bid. And that is how his power overcame the cancerous death that sin has been.
The most valuable possession you have is your time. When you give your time, you are giving something worth much more than gold and silver. Proverbs says that a good reputation is more valuable than riches. If you missed that, then catch this; your time with God and others creates a good reputation. Your time cannot be regained. It cannot be stored away or hidden. Your time can only be given.
Time spent yesterday is gone. Today you have time for today. Tomorrow will worry about itself.
What’s the different between the end of this day and the end of your last day on Earth? The difference is how you spent your time. Keep the end in view, but balance between there and here. Don’t be apathetic, but don’t lose your time to frivolous concerns. Care for people and not things. Your time is the final tool that makes everything else useable. Time is like the power for a lamp. Will you turn it on or remain in the dark? So be present and invest your most valuable possession wisely.