a blog from our pastors and staff
by Asst. Pastor Andrew Fidurko
As I sit here, snowed in on a frigid January day, my mind starts to drift about how I spend life. Today it will be easy. I will be able to create my own pace for the day, nothing too stressful, and be able to get sooo much accomplished. I will be able to spend time with my family, have time to read, and things will work out well.
Pace of the day is what I am thinking about most in that paragraph. Do I really control the pace of my day? If I were to take another average day of my month, so many pressures from family, work, school, maybe even hanging out with a few friends, and then the things I actually want to do seem to all collide in a cascade of stress. Where does it end? In the book, Soul Keeping by John Ortburg, he has many conversations with his mentor Dallas Willard about such things. Willard says in one section, “You must arrange your days so that you are experiencing deep contentment, joy, and confidence in your everyday life with God.” It's just
that easy, huh? “You are responsible for the condition of your soul.”
Do I control my own pace in life? Do the simple things create this contentment, joy, and confidence? Is my relationship with God set to the standard that was laid out in this one simple sentence? I believe that the statement by Willard is true. We need to be able to use the power and control we have over the ordering of our day and life, or else life just happens to us and life starts to pass us by. A snow day is an easy day for us to be able to see this and use that control. Other days there may be so many factors that we are unable to control, but that is okay. I do not think the purpose of the statement is about controlling everything. It is about controlling yourself in the times that you can. And most importantly controlling the time and
methods that we connect to the One that has all the power and control - God.
In Matthew chapter 16, Jesus is talking to the disciples about the coming sacrifice that He was going to have to make in order to save the world. In the middle of this He says, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Jesus not only understands His purpose and next steps for the greater good, but poses the question to us about the value our of own being. The answer, of course, is there is no profit for a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul, and that our souls have value beyond measure. The disciples, mirroring our personal view point and the world’s personal viewpoint, want Jesus to keep going on and on with them. It is a good life, saving and healing people. They could have so much power and get ahead in this world, if they just had more time, or more resources and money, or if they just had a better understanding of the things to come they could… sound familiar? Jesus wants us to take a step back and understand what the value of a soul is truly worth. That we are given 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 365 days in a year for a reason. Value your time and use it for the things that matter. This is enough time to find joy, deep contentment and confidence. It is enough time to plug into the power that passes all understanding and allow Him to help you with your life wherever it is at. Get out of the “survival mode” of going from one thing to another and so on, decide to cut things out that do not matter to your soul, and plug into the things that do matter. New Years and the start of a fresh year of 2019 is a great time to do this.
It is also a great time to rededicate yourself to Christ or meet Him as your personal Savior for the first time. Say this prayer to yourself as you are reading with me, “Lord, I know I need you. You have sacrificed for me in more ways than I know. I ask You to forgive me for the sin that I have brought before You. I also ask You to help me see good paths and to discern the future You have for me. I believe in faith and receive Your renewal and Spirit today. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
If you have more questions about beginning a life with Christ, or need resources, talk to me or another of the pastors at Hillside Wesleyan Church, or reach out to websites like this.