Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rearranging the Furniture

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.

Romans 12:1-2a (The Message)

One evening my husband and I were invited to dinner at the home of a retired architect and his wife. I looked forward to it because I had heard about his unique home. When I walked in it was evident he had a particular style.

As he walked us around the rooms, showing his careful design which included an enormous billiards table in the middle of the living room, I realized that his initial design had not changed one iota from the time he initially put it all together. He had even designed his environment without consideration of his wife’s one request—there was no dishwasher in the kitchen because, “it didn’t work with my design.” I asked him, “Do you ever change anything around?” “Never,” he retorted, “When I put something down, it stays there.”

My host was so well adjusted to his culture that he never allowed for anything new, whether it be a new arrangement of his furniture, a gift received from a friend or giving his wife her wish of a dishwasher.
As a Jesus follower I can’t take anything for granted or become too settled in my “created” environment. Nothing in my life is too mundane or unimportant for God to take an interest in and want control. Trying to achieve a sense of security I set up my inner house in a way that I find comfortable. I like it comfortable. But God wants all my thought out designs, my collections of whatever is important to me, people, events, my treasured traditions. The kicker is that He makes no promises about keeping my arrangement comfortable.

When I “fix my attention” on God opening the front door and giving him free reign, He will probably want to move around the furniture so that I get a better view--of Him. He may want to get rid of some of the objects that keep me distracted and prevent me from accepting the gifts He wants to give. He may even find, that what I thought kept me connected to Him, is out of order!

One night, my husband and I weren't able to attend the weekly Bible study we had for college students in our home. In total trust, we told the leaders to go ahead and meet in our home. When we walked in the door, later that evening, our equilibrium went haywire! Every piece of furniture, pictures, wall hangings, figurines, plants, everything had been moved slightly. I was completely unnerved, which was their intention! It’s similar to when I totally embrace God’s life instead of my “created” one. I’m going to be changed from the inside out and initially I’ll be uncomfortable, but ultimately I’ll be content with the outcome.

Unlike my architect friend, the day after the “attack of the college students”, I moved everything around and found the new arrangement very refreshing!

Jesus, help me to not become so settled in my life
that I miss the refreshment of living life in You.
Help me not to opt for security and sameness but
to trust that even though You move things around,
You know what is best for me.

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