The One Essential of Life

[Jesus said]“Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food . . . Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.” (John 6:27 MSG)

The clock moves on
but God is still,
Hurried flesh knows not his will.

Like Mary, we must turn aside,
deny ambition,
give up pride,
leave our projects,
choose to wait.

We cannot love unless we hate.
We cannot live unless we die.

God will not rule
while we still try.
He will not force us to repent
but soon our days
will all be spent.

Jesus waits.
Time hurries on.
Choose Jesus, now, before time’s gone.

(Poem from, “Heart Connections: Finding Joy through Openness with God” by Jane Ault 2003.)

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I got up and read a few chapters in Paul Tournier’s book, “The Healing of Persons.” In it, he speaks about the necessity of accepting realities and conditions of life, such as the boundaries of time and limits of aging.

I’ve resisted these limits for too many years, priding myself about my ability to keep going regardless of my age. As I read last night, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He showed me I’ve been lying to myself. To believe I am capable of doing everything I did when I was a few decades younger and doing it with as much speed as I did back then is a lie.

Does accepting my present limits mean what I have to offer has less worth? Not at all! The reverse is true. For example, when I accept and yield to speed limit signs, I feel more relaxed. I stop looking around for a police car.

The truth is: Refusing to accept and set limits makes me more limited. When I involve myself in everything, I fail to accomplish important things. What are the important things? There is only one.

In a conversation he had with two women, Mary and Martha, Jesus defined the one important thing in life– connection with Jesus.

Consumed with many things, Martha felt worried and stressed. Focused on Jesus, connecting with him, Mary found joy and peace. (This story is found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 10.)

Jesus is my teacher. As I stay connected to him, he gives me clarity about everything else in my life. What to do. What not to do. His Spirit is my personal instructor. As I read Scripture, he highlights the words I need for the day.

Jesus is my Creator. As I rely on him, he gives me the strength to do that which is important. Jesus is my Saviour. When I miss my cues and wander off into rabbit trails, he corrects, forgives, and restores me.

Jesus is my constant companion and closest friend. When others I’ve loved have died or moved away, he’s remained. Staying connected with him is the one essential of life.

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