All In – It’s all about commitment
Jane Clamp explains that seeking to do God’s will is more than just a quick fix.
As a writer, I find that inspiration strikes at odd moments and in strange ways. I had been idly musing on what to blog about whilst tidying my music room. As I picked up a song-book from the piano, a tiny yellow bulldog clip shot from the pages it was holding open and landed behind the sofa. I could see it clearly, but it remained just out of reach. The sofa was too heavy to move, and I had nothing to hand that I could poke it with. All I could do was lean further forwards, putting more of myself into the gap, and only then could I grasp it.
Years ago, someone gave an illustration about commitment and sacrifice which referred to an advert for cooked breakfasts. I think they had entirely made this advert up, but I have always remembered the point. The chicken says, “I’m committed to this breakfast.” Indeed, her eggs are an essential part of the feast. But the pig says, “I’m dedicated.” Whoa. The contrast is startling; and it presents an important challenge for us.
You see, I don’t doubt that many of us have goals, dreams, ambitions not just for 2018 but looking ahead into the whole of our life. Some of them will come to pass with little input from us – imagine, for example, the bulldog clip had simply fallen onto the carpet at my feet. But some might remain elusive - tantalisingly and frustratingly beyond our natural reach.
Our response is often to choose the quick-fix, the fast-track, the maximum-outcome-for-minimum-effort route; but that is rarely the way God works. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” In focusing on the last part, the bit where our prayers are answered, and our hearts are satisfied, we can miss the invitation to “delight yourself in the Lord.” This suggests more to me than sending up a quick prayer for help. It implies giving more of our time to spend with Him, more of ourselves surrendered to Him. Putting more of ourselves “into the gap.”
It was Archimedes who had a Eureka! moment as he stepped into his bath. “I’ve got it!” he exclaimed, as his ample girth lowered itself into the tub causing the sudsy contents to slop over onto the floor. In that moment he identified a principle we would do well to remember: the more we put in, the more we get out. So, if we want more out of life, we first must put more of ourselves into it.
I’m All-In. Are you?
The paper clips image above is courtesy of Nino Satria on Free Images.com.
Jane Clamp is Creative Writer in Residence on the Sunday Breakfast Show at BBC Radio Norfolk and on the Thought of the Day team at Premier Christian Radio. An active member of the Association of Christian Writers, she is editing a second novel, and in her spare time works as an interior designer and musician.
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