I’ve heard it said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I can see where this is true, except when following Christ.
Last weekend, Daniel and I attended our second Linger Conference in Frisco, Texas. It was a wonderful weekend to worship without the pressure of leading others, learn without quietly correcting a five year old, and dive deep into the Word. When my friend asked which speaker was my favorite, I honestly couldn’t choose. I felt like pieces of each sermon stuck out in different ways. One phrase that has been playing in my head, though, is “I’m here again, God.”
JR Vassar spoke on slothfulness. He pointed out things about the sluggard, described in the book Proverbs. The sluggard is bored, and rejects God on the grounds of being uninteresting. The sluggard refuses to work on relationships with people or with God. He is full of consumption without contentment. JR noted the time we spend on YouTube or Netflix, versus reading the Bible. Ouch.
You see, there is danger beyond just being lazy. When we look for satisfaction the “easy way”, we fill up on meaningless rubbish.
The things we hold most dear are typically the things we have worked for the most. We are invested. If we don’t spend much time developing our relationships with our spouses or friends or God, we aren’t all that devastated when the relationships crumble. But we can say we have seen every episode of New Girl or The Office, so we’ve got that going for us, right?
JR suggested we “stay under the yoke”. Keep trying. Stay connected. Don’t let go. Wake up every morning and say, “I’m here again, God“. Just keep showing up. Will there be days that roll by without a hitch? Yes. Will there be days when it’s all you can do to make it to bedtime? Of course. Will there be days of celebration? Absolutely. Will you have an epiphany every single day? No. Will you develop a deeper understanding of Jesus and the Bible? YES! Will that enhance your relationship with God? Always.
Being a Christian means following Christ. Following Him through the rain, under the stars, in the spring, in the winter, through deep waters, over dry ground, and around some scary bends. But following Him, nonetheless. Saying each morning, “I’m here again, God”.
Another perk of Linger is the fantastic worship leaders. Bethany Barnard is a singer/songwriter I’ve listened to and admired for about ten years now. She led worship at Linger and released her latest album last Friday; it has remained in my CD player since. Two songs, back to back, have been in my mind: Awaken Me and Awake My Soul and Sing. These songs remind me of showing up every day. I have prayed “Awaken me, God. Let me see Your goodness today. Keep bringing me back, whether that is to rest in Your presence or peel back the layers of Your Word.” Ephesians 5:14 says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you”(ESV). It also happens to be a really great Needtobreathe song! We sing this song after each baptism at Oak Grove Baptist Church. It is a fantastic reminder that without Christ, we are dead. We are sleeping through life. We only find true life in God when we allow Him to shine through us. When we awake to God, we start each day submitting to Him. We become more like Him each day, and live the life He designed for us. We don’t quit when the going gets hard. When our husbands or wives loads the dishes the wrong way. When our worship team plays a song we don’t like. When we are tired of our workloads. We stay under the yoke and become better for it. As JR said, “We become the people we are by what we choose to do again”. I choose to seek Christ.
I’m here again, God.
JR’s sermon can be found here: Sloth and Its Cure
Bethany’s album can be found here: A Better Word