Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


A couple of Characters

On our way to the cafeteria, Leeman starts patting his jacket, saying, "oh shoot! You know wha..." Before he finishes, I shake my head and tell him, "yeah yeah yeah...I got your lunch." After we left the cafeteria to go back to his office, I thought about this: If he didn't have our appointment put into his Palm, I'm not so sure he would've remembered. The problem lies in when he does finally lose his Palm. He almost did just that this past Sunday at church, when Jared had to pick it up for him. It's the Leeman Principle :)

During our conversation, he asked me what I perceived my own strengths and weaknesses to be. A good question. Often, I think our perception of ourselves is skewed...we need to aesthetically distance ourselves every now and again, so as not to be so wrapped up in our own perception. Jonathan put it like this: say a military man is highly respected. On the day of battle, he is nervous and scared and unsure and overwhelmed on the inside just like everyone else, but he still charges right into the thick of battle. To everyone else, he appears calm and in control, courageous beyond merit. At the end of the battle, his actions stand head and shoulders above the rest. Was he courageous? Yes. Was he so scared he nearly peed in his pants? Yes. So what's the verdict?

J.I. Packer writes in A Quest For Godliness, "The man of God has authority as he bows to divine authority, and the pattern of God's power in him is the baptismal pattern of being supernaturally raised from under burdens that feel like death." I read that last week, and it's stuck with me since. My eyebrows raised, and my mouth mouthed a "wow!" What struck me as profound was the second part of that statement: that the pattern of God's power in our lives is like the baptismal raising of the dead. Only, since we are now alive in Christ, we are continually being supernaturally raised from under burdens that feel like death. Death is no longer victorious. Although we may feel its effects within us...doubt, struggles with the same old sins, fear, weaknesses we know far too well...still, Christ is victorious. Paul urges us in Romans to, by the mercies of God (12:1), be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we might know what the will of God is (12:2). In doing so, God supernaturally enables us to act accordingly, even though we are faced wtih burdens that feel like death. 1 John 5:3-4 reads, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith." And what is that faith based upon? Christ. How do we come by it? God's free gift to us, in His mercy.

I've been thinking about these burdens that we face. More specifically, that I myself face. Though they feel like death, they're not the killing stroke. Truth be told, they have no power over me. Psalm 73 reads, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." In Christ, this truth is made full.

Jonathan told me that though the man was fraught with fear, his character was predicated by his actions. His fears did not overcome his convictions. I now ask myself, "what's the verdict on your own character, John?"

posted by Bolo | 11:12 AM
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