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“Full-time ministry.”

What do I even think about when the phrase flickers in my mind?

For a long time, it was the image of a pastor – preaching his heart out without fear or favour, only for the glory of God.

It was the image of a monk – casting away his own desires and dreams to consecrate his life for God.

It the image of a missionary – going through unimaginable difficulties to proclaim the good news even in the direst of circumstances, going so far as to pay the ultimate price if necessary.

But it was not the image of myself – though I call myself a Christian – to do the things I just mentioned above. As if only a certain group of Christian were special, and had the gifts and calling to do said things.

“That is not my calling,” I deceive myself.

“I will just do my part and leave the grand plans to those who are anointed.”

Sophistry.

As if Christians are not all called to live as sons of God (Matt 6:9), servants of the Lord (Luke 17:10), and slaves to righteousness (Rom 6:18). And although I describe them in three ways, they mean the same thing.

As if Christians are not all called to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I (Jesus) have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:19-20).

As if Christians are not called to put to death the old self, and put on the new self – to, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Col 3:5-17).

As if the kingdom of God is not at hand – as if the end times were not near – as if we, not Jesus, are Lord of our lives –

As if I knew not, let alone understood, the eschatological reality of the world we live in.

As if.

According to Packer, we dither to serve Christ in cheerful self-abandonment because of unbelief.

The Lord said, “the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” (Matt 9:37-38)

Yet, despite our belief, we are so often afraid that the answer to that prayer is “you.”

You are the labourers that I will send to harvest the field.”

“No, Lord. Not me! I am not suitable,” we squirm.

The Lord himself displayed obedience to the Father, going as far to sacrifice himself on the cross, even though he was without sin, completely undeserving of death, and to a certain degree, reluctant:

“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matt 26:39)

And Isaiah, when the Lord asked for someone to do his will, volunteered himself:

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” ” (Isaiah 6:8).

Yet, we dither.

If we claim we believe, does every aspect of our lives reflect that claim?

Are we bold with our faith, or are we furtive?

The calling to be a Christian boils down to this – be the human being God designed us to be. In other words, to be like Jesus – the one called Son of God, the Suffering Servant, the Righteous One.

Having been positionally sanctified, will we be perfected in our lifetime? No. But it is unacceptable as a Christian to not strive towards that goal.

If in our sober moments, we cannot determine and commit to what is holy, what hope have we to make the right choice when faced with temptations?

Sin is real, and remains a force over our earthly flesh.

But so is the saving work of Christ, and his sending of the Spirit to aid us in our lifelong deathmatch with sin.

In the words of John Owen:

“Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you.”

God has called.

We must answer.

Q

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do all who walk eventually run?

do all who walk eventually run?

how shall i know if i run, or if i merely walk?
what is running?
how does it look like, what would i look like?
and if i ask, does it mean that i do not run?
for those with eyes on the wreath,
this would seem like the silliest question
(but still, take heed lest you fall).
but for us who are less athletic and more ordinary,
how do we know, what shall we do?
and if the exhortation is simply, ‘run, you fools, run!’
does it mean that there is no room for simple folk,
or do all who walk eventually run?
in such a way that the struggles of our youth grow obsolete,
in such a way that we will never need to ask?

Coup d’état

the first time; a trigger – the flashpoint.
the second time; affirmation – the declaration of war.
arrogance slew innocence,
and every subsequent time a bloody battle.
the smell of iron fills the air; the rivers are dyed red.
a war i have no chance of losing,
yet everyday i am defeated.
how am i to go back to how things were?
how am i to move forward to how things should be?


Q

Ihre Krone

if life is long, then i be glad;
if short, then why should i be sad?

would i, too, one day be able to utter those words with complete conviction?

what does it say about me
if i enjoy the mundane,
if i find joy in the little things
and if i am a little afraid of pain?

what would it say about me
if i sometimes find the frivolous intriguing,
if i’m not completely fearless about dying
and cannot quite yet count death as gain?

it is hard to do good; harder still to do right.
yet ‘my yoke is easy, and my burden is light’;
so why do i find it difficult and heavy to bear
as i continue to struggle day on day?

p a n a c e a

click for source

give me amnesia.
liberate from me my fears,
wind back all those years,
and let me keep my tears,

allow me to rest in peace,
from this torment find release,
and sedate this raging beast;
if i die, let the war in me cease,
and i pray, you’d let me be at ease.

so give me amnesia,
salvation from this dystopia,
my one remaining panacea.

So I ask, is it better to:

not have done something and regretting about not doing it; or

have done something and then regretting about having done it?

contra mundum

doves are in yonder flight; ante bellum,
the good often die young; we keep vigil.

life can never escape death; memento mori.
even the highest peaks despair; the skies higher still.

the world is not ours to inherit; dust off our feet.
there is nothing to be mourned, fait accompli.

but even as the river flows, unstoppable,
we walk against the clock, contra mundum.

Conceived because I was fascinated by some Latin / French words.

Christians may notice some gospel-inspired lines. Hehe.

*
ante bellum = before the war
memento mori = remember everyone dies
fait accompli = what has been done cannot be changed
contra mundum = against the world

but a mere pawn

‘i’m a mess,’
no better than cess;
‘a trainwreck, i confess.
i’d be a pawn if life were chess.’

but why despair at being a pawn?
everyone feels small at some point.
we all worry, we all fear, we all stumble.

rooks and knights and bishops and the queen.
we look at them  in envy and exclaim, ‘wow, aren’t they brilliant?’
‘why are they so beautiful and i, so pitiful?’
‘could i ever become someone like them?’
‘i hate myself.’

but what’s with the oversight of a pawn’s ability?
‘what ability?’ you ask, seemingly in astonishment.
‘is the pawn not just fodder?
the stones on which other pieces step on to attain glory?’
‘what ability could we possibly have?’
‘i feel guilty for being such a liability.’

yet once again, the pawn’s importance is overlooked.
a bare rook, a lone knight, an unguarded bishop, a solitary queen.
what successes, if any, await their own, futile frolics?

great empires had great emperors;
great emperors in turn had great generals;
and even great generals had the support of great soldiers.
no king has ever conquered by his lonesome.

pawns may never become kings,
but there will be no kingdom without pawns.
and yet we seem to be forgetting something,

there’s more to the pawn than just supporting the larger pieces.
they all have the potential to be tide turners, key players;
each one of them possess an inherent ability that no other piece have.

the pawn has the ability to change.

unlike all other pieces, the pawn can progress.
as they soldier on to the opposite end to the board,
combating obstacles, and conquering adversaries,
they improve themselves, augmenting their own abilities.
no longer would they stare across the board, green with envy;
instead, they looked will be looked at as equals.

so no, life isn’t so bad as a pawn.
in a way, we are all pawns;
seeking to better ourselves,
struggling to the other side,
running our own perpetual race,

on the chessboards of life.
don’t despair about being a pawn.
that is today, but we have tomorrow.
so hold off your sorrow.

as long as you have it within you
to make it to the other side,
you too can be something great.
self hatred and never-ending guilt,
they only stands in the way of true change.

the ability to change…

it’s pretty awesome.