The mind is a funny thing.
When I’m doing repetitive tasks, like walking the hound, or driving a vehicle, the tasks can largely be accomplished in such a way that the actions of driving or walking enter an automation phase, and the prayer part of my brain switches on.
Listening to praise & worship does the same thing, but in a different way. So, if I could combine the impossible by walking the dog and driving a vehicle at the same time, while listening to praise & worship, I would be set.
So, walking the hound on a given morning in March I requested of the Lord whether it was really necessary for me to have to endure hardship to improve my character.
“Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ”
James 1:3 – 4 (NIV)
Why was I thinking about the book of James? I hadn’t read it recently and I didn’t mean to go there. But since I was, could my character not remain as is? Did I absolutely need to walk into headwinds to earn some perseverance?
Why was I asking such a ludicrous question? I mean, I’m setting myself up like the coyote. You just know a solid answer’s falling at terminal velocity like an anvil…the words of the Lord to the prophet Jeremiah:
‘He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand Israel.’ (18:6, NIV)
Nope, no hall pass for me. But I finished walking the dog, made a note of the incident, filed it away and resumed the busy-ness of my week.
Just innocently listening to music on YouTube, here comes the hammer to strike the anvil and reinforce the point.
“To this I hold, my hope is only Jesus
For my life is wholly bound to His”
(Yet not I but through Christ in me by CityAlight)
It all comes together now, I actually see it. This body, this life, not really mine at all. I live like its mine: I watch the movies that interest me, eat the food that I want to, consume the media that amuses me, or the news that informs me.
My life is ‘wholly bound to His’. I realise that I have been living like I haven’t realised this. Not for some time anyway.
God can do what He wants with me, it’s His right as the Potter. For whatever reason He wants. And in the midst of the things I don’t understand and shy away from, and the things that hurt, I’m wholly bound to Christ.