Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)
TITLE: No Space
By Joe Moreland
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Finally, as they were about to give up, one innkeeper took pity and allowed them to take rest in a grotto behind his inn that he used to house his livestock and the animals of those who stayed with him. In terms of shelter, it was not much. Cold, damp and musty, the stable did little more than get the man and his soon-to-be in labor wife out of the wind. Not much of a welcome into the world for the one true God and savior, but then again, how could they know?
No space. He hears it over and over again today, in a million different ways. No time. No room. No opportunity. No choice. On and on it goes. Just as he tried to enter the world back then, only to be shuffled off to a lowly manger, so he now tries to enter our lives. We either turn him away because there's no room in our crowded, hectic existence, or we relegate him off to a small corner where we can visit once in a while - when we need uplifting.
Why? Why do so many of us put up the "no vacancy" sign when it comes to Jesus? What are we afraid of? Maybe it's because we want to protect our autonomy. We want to live our lives how and when we want without feeling like God is always looking over our shoulder, tsk-tsking our choices. But God is watching anyway, whether we feel it or not. Whether we answer the door to his knock or not, he is still always there. Knocking. Waiting for us to let him in.
Maybe it's because we fear our loss of control, or, at least, the loss of the appearance of our control. When we let Jesus in he begins to exert influence in our life. Even though we put him in a tiny space, confined by our reluctance to embrace his will for our lives, still he clamors for more. The simple truth is that Jesus is not satisfied with whatever small space in our life we assign to him. He wants more. He wants all of us. Our entire life dedicated to his Father's will. That is what we fear: Committing to someone else's purpose. We feel that this small breath of life we have on this earth lasts a little longer if we can maintain control, and giving up that control is really about fearing our own mortality.
God will ask us to do things we don't want to do. Things that will make us uncomfortable and cause us to strain, make us different from everyone else, perhaps even cause us to be ridiculed and judged by the world. He might even ask us to lay this mortal life on the line for him. There's no room for that in most of our lives. Space is at a premium. We have so much we want to do. So much we want to accomplish, and we'll never get to any of it if we give all our space - the entirety of our lives - over to God's purpose.
What a welcome into our lives for the one true God and savior of the world, but then again - how could we know? Oh, yeah, because we do know. We've been told.
The irony? God's will for our lives includes us being prosperous, joyful and content. The best of these may be contentment. Think about being totally satisfied with life and never wanting for more. Great wealth and worldwide fame for your successes will never bring you the peace of contentment. Only God offers that. But in order for him to accomplish that in our lives we have to allow his desires to become our desires. His will our will. We have to clear out all the junk and allow free rein throughout our entire being.
We have to make space.
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