Monday, November 23, 2015

Failing At Life

Have you heard people use the phrase "I'm failing at life."? I know I've been guilty of saying that at least a few times. This morning that phrase popped in my head, as I went down to do laundry and realized that I had left a load in the washer for probably about 4 days now, and I was out of laundry detergent. Only this time, I had to question what that really means.

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you, and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. There end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself."

Philippians 3:14-21

This is the Scripture I've been studying for about the past two weeks for a Bible study. I had read it over again this morning, before I went to start laundry. 

What I realized this morning is that when we say "I'm failing at life", what we really mean is "I can't keep up with all the to-dos. The tasks, events, expectations, that I have set on myself, that others have put on me, are overwhelming and I just can't keep up. " We think because we can't seem to juggle the busyness of life without dropping a ball here or there, we are failing at life. 

But is that even what life is all about?

Yes, there are things we just have to do, like laundry, but according to the Scripture above, my life is not about how well I keep up with the laundry, and if my to-do list becomes my standard for life, I've lost sight of the real goal - to follow Christ.

In all honesty, if my life is going to be judged on how well I kept up with my to-do list, or juggled busyness, I'm ok with failing.

What I don't want to happen is that I fail at life for real. God has a real purpose for my life. A purpose that extends far beyond the piles of laundry (and in my house, those extend pretty far!)

Am I failing at setting my eyes, heart, and mind on Christ? 
Am I failing at pursuing Him as my goal?
Am I failing at holding true to my salvation I've been given through His blood?
Am I failing at walking according to Jesus's example, am I walking as an enemy of the cross of Christ?
Am I failing by setting my mind on earthly things? 
Am I failing at remembering where my true home is, and honoring it?

Yes! I fail at these things every day, but praise God for his grace! Praise God that having true life is not based on my ability to keep up! Praise God that He alone is the One who transforms our hearts and minds and will one day transform our bodies as well! Praise God He is able to subject ALL things to himself, even me!

I fail at real life, when I've taken my eyes off of Christ, off of the real goal, off of His purpose and plan, off of His will. But I can't do it on my own. I have to rely on Christ in me to set my eyes on Him, to drive my heart towards Him. 

That's real life. And I don't have to be failing at it, because Christ already has freed me from sin, which means He has freed me from myself, my own desires, my blinded perspective on "life", and my inability to meet His standards. The Holy Spirit is a complete game changer, allowing me to live a life of purpose, not in my own strength or ability, but in the Almighty strength of God. The One who has the power to subject ALL things to Himself, lives in me. How can life possibly be about a to-do list any more?