The day of the sword - part 1.
Good is not easy.
Good is not natural.
Good is not obvious.
If you would argue any of those statements you have never had a child. The moment you do, you realize that you have to teach good and unteach bad.
Case in point, my 2-year old McRae found her older sister's bag of halloween candy. Unaware that my wife could see her from the other room, she began quickly and deliberately stuffing the 40 pieces of candy under a piece of furniture.
No one told her that hoarding was a good thing to do. No one taught her that taking something that is not yours can be a particularly delicious endeavor. She did not need to learn how to hide. She knew that going in. What she doesn't know is how to share.
This is what we have to teach her. This is what I as a parent must instruct her on. Sharing, caring, loving, honoring, respecting, these things are no more natural to her than they are to you. She must learn to be good and unlearn how to be bad. But here's the thing:
I don't want to be good.
I don't want to do the right thing or make good decisions or follow all the rules. I don't want to fit in or be known as being a "good person."
I want to be holy.
I want to glow. I want to mourn louder and celebrate louder than people expect. I want to be extraordinary and deliberate and stripped raw of surface distractions that hold me back or down. I want to put to death boring and average and ordinary every morning when I roll out of bed.
And I think it's all possible.
But it is not easy. I think there is a reason all sins are equal. I think that God has designed each of us for a very unique purpose. I believe that you alone are created to do something that none of the other 6 billion people on the planet could ever hope to accomplish. And I think God looks at how we accomplish that with a simple eye.
God sees two states. As shown in the prodigal son story he doesn't look at the type of the sin or the specifics of your actions. When the older brother tries to qualify the younger brother's sin the father tells him he doesn't see things that way. He sees dead and alive, lost and found, on target and off target. So when we give into distraction, when we make mistakes and fail, God doesn't see the specifics of the failure. He sees that we have taken a step either away from our final purpose or a step toward our final purpose.
What I am going to do this year, what I am going to offer you the chance to do, is to walk toward that purpose. To get closer to who you are. To strip away those things you've gathered over the months or years or decades that are covering up how much you can really shine.
I would love if you did it like me. I would love if my plan or system worked for you, and we could walk this together. But ultimately, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you figure out a plan that works for you, that you customize the rough ideas in this post according to your own unique needs and desires. So what, am I really asking you to do today?
I want you to take back your year.
Right now you are donating the most precious gifts you have, time and energy, to things that are woefully undeserving. Your hours and focus are burning up like fog in the sun and the world doesn't really have a problem with that. But I think God does. Here is what Ephesians 5:15-16 says:
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
That's what I want to get you to do. And the way I am going to suggest you do that is very simple. All I need is an hour.
And you have an hour. I promise, inside your day is an hour waiting to change your life. You will say there is not. You are too busy. You are stressed. You have a blackberry that is already angry and bursting at the digital seams. I believe that, but I believe you can find 12 minutes 5 times a day to do something a little different. To try something new that might just be worth more than 12 minutes.
You see, when you dedicate yourself to saving one hour a day for an entire year, do you know what you get back? You reclaim 15 days a year. That small daily commitment gives you two weeks that you can hold on to and point to and know deep down that you took back for yourself, for your future and for your Lord. And the crazy thing is that if you spent two hours a day being deliberate, you would rescue 30 days of your life every year.
How cool would it be to know that for an entire month, you were actively pursuing your purpose. Instead of wishing and hoping, you were literally growing the future in small little increments?
Here is what I am going to do:
Every day, for 12 minutes I am going to do five different things. Now because I work in corporate America and can only keep goals if they are expressed simply (I need the BRD EOD if not ASAP, OK?) I have made this really straight forward.
I am going to focus on living the day of the SWORD with God.
S - I will serve someone in my circle of influence for 12 minutes.
W - I will worship in some way for 12 minutes.
O - I will order my day and plan my actions for 12 minutes.
R - I will rest my heart and mind and soul for 12 minutes.
D - I will dance and exercise and learn to honor God with my body for 12 minutes.
That is all I am going to do. Nothing fancy. Nothing crazy. I am going to focus on the things that don't come naturally but I believe I am called to do.
In the next few posts I will detail each of the letters and what it means to live by the day of the SWORD.
That was longer than I intended and it might not make sense. This is not some silver bullet that will cure me of sin or failure. Not at all, this is just me actively and willingly letting God know that I am all in. This is me inviting him into all four quadrants of my life: the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual.
This is me starting a new journey for the next month. And it's one I hope you'll go on with me.
This post goes well with:
1. My no plan always fails.