Monday, May 07, 2007

That's Just Life

That’s Just Life
By Marcia Lee Laycock

As I waited in the line-up at the post office the other day I overheard a conversation that is quite common for this area of the world. One person asked after the other and the response was, “Fine, but too busy.” The other responded, “That’s just life here now, isn’t it?”

The comment arises from living in a province/county/town that is at the height of economic boom. We here in Alberta Canada have seen unprecedented growth in business, housing and population. As I zoomed into the traffic on our main highway the other day I had a moment of nostalgia for the days when it was not so. This fast pace takes its toll. I find I’m often rushing, often trying to think in several directions at once and often afraid that one base or another hasn’t been covered. And I realize it has indeed become, “just life” for me and those around me.

And then I realized that expression is really an oxymoron – something that does not, or should not, make sense. Life is not “just” anything – it’s all we have, a gift from God that should be cherished every moment, not lived at a pace that prevents us from truly experiencing it. When we live at that pace we risk missing life entirely – missing our family, our friends, the needs of those around us. And most important of all, we risk missing God and what He intends to bring into our lives each day.

At a retreat I attended recently the speaker commented that Jesus always lived in the moment. He lived life to its fullest every day, yet never rushed, never worried about what wasn’t being done, never fretting over tomorrow or tried to get ahead of himself. How did He do it? Jerusalem wasn’t so different from our here and now. It was a busy place of commerce, the crossroads for streams of journeying people. No doubt Jesus could have been, indeed was, a busy man. So what was different for Him?

The key, I believe lies in the words Jesus spoke to the Pharisees in the book of John, Chapter 5. “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” (v.30).

Jesus knew where His strength came from, where to go for peace, and who to listen to. He was so in love with His Father he wanted only to please Him. Jesus had a lot to do in a very short time, yet he did not rush – He knew His Father was in control of the timing. He worked with people who were slow to understand and constantly messed up - yet he did not get frustrated. He knew His Father loved them deeply and had sent Him to die for them. Jesus was ridiculed and scorned and ultimately handed over to those who hated Him – yet he never retaliated. He knew His Father was in control of the beginning and the end of His life.

In short, Jesus knew the Father. It made all the difference in His life and it makes all the difference in ours. It’s the difference between “just life” and “life to the full” (John 10:10).

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