by Marcia Lee Laycock, @MarciaLaycock
Funny how God knows the perfect time to send you a reminder or two about something you seem to have forgotten. It happened to me recently and I confess it made me groan. I thought I’d learned this lesson well a time or two before, but I guess I’m one of those cracked pots that continually leaks.
It happened as I sat listening to my husband preach a while ago. The sermon was called Greatness That Doesn’t Have a Shelf Life. (He likes to use catchy titles). You can listen to it here – http://bit.ly/2gghh9R
The passage of scripture hewas preaching from was Mark 9:33 -50, which includes that rather embarrassing moment when the disciples are caught in the act of being foolish. They’ve been arguing over who will be greatest in the kingdom when Jesus establishes it. Of course, they’re thinking it’s going to be an earthly kingdom, one free of the tyrannical rule of the Romans, one in which they will have positions of influence and power. Even after spending so much time with Jesus they still don’t understand what the kingdom of God is all about.
Yes, I’m sure they were embarrassed when Jesus confronted them, just as I was embarrassed as my husband preached that Sunday. You see, I’d been having a bit of a pity party that week about the state of my career, whining a bit about my books not selling enough, my platform not gaining enough attention, etc. etc. etc. Or perhaps I should say, blah, blah, blah.
Then this: “Choose to make your ambition dependence on God.”
Oh. Right. I think I’ve heard this before. I think I’ve promised to do this more than once. And Matthew 6:33 scrolled across my mind’s eye once again: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”
When I asked my favourite pastor if he had someone specific in mind as he prepared his sermon that week, he smiled and shook his head. “No,” he said. “That was just the next passage in Mark.” He gave me a bit of a grin. “I was tempted to give you a preview a few days ahead, but I thought maybe it would be wise to let the Lord deal with it.”
I laughed. “Very wise,” I said. “Very wise.”
So,once again, instead of whining about my lack of time in the spotlight, I will try to remember to focus on discerning what God’s kingdom really is all about, and what part he wants me to play, as a writer and as His beloved child, in the building of it. I’ll try to remember the deep need of my soul – dependence only on Him, and an awareness of His truly unconditional love.
Desperate to escape his past, the police, and especially, God, Alex Donnelly picks a good place to hide – the Yukon wilderness – but he finds even there his is pursued. What will it take for him to discover that no matter how far you run, God will find you, and no matter what you have done, God will forgive you?