How many things do we repeat in this life on a regular basis? Waking. Showering. Working. Reading. Exercising. Taking medications. Visiting doctors. Buying groceries. Cooking. Cleaning. Voting. Paying taxes. Talking. Listening. Fighting. Crying. Suffering. Emptying waste. Paying bills. Gassing vehicles. Decorating. Designing. Washing clothes. Drying clothes. Sleeping. And the laundry list continues…
Donald Miller wrote, “It occurs to me it is not so much the aim of the devil to lure me with evil as it is to preoccupy me with the meaningless.” (Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance, pg. 31)
How many things can we not repeat? Taking words back. Missed opportunities. Death.
Miller continues, “Could we, with human reason, process the finality of death, we would be very different souls, giving more than we take, forgiving easily, and listening with all that is in us for answers to questions we would not have otherwise asked.” (pg. 31)
And God tells us in the best-selling book in history to keep on repeating the following:
Reading His words.
Loving your neighbor.
Shining His light.
Sharing His good news.
Helping the poor.
And there are many more, like another “ing” ending word—seeking.
Why is it that we don’t want to return to God “again”, seek Him “again”, pray “again”, and confess our sins “again”.
Some of the people of Israel got tired of “daily” picking up a bread-type substance (that tasted like wafers made with honey) from heaven called manna.
God provided it, after they complained about missing the “good-ole-days” back in Egypt where they ate their fill, even as slaves. They seemed to ruminate on memories while they wandered in the desert, as discovered in Exodus chapter 16.
So, in order to counter their life from being rote, routine, and regulated, some of the Israelites depended on the manna they secured from the day before. They relied on yesterday’s bread. And what happened as a result? Their day-old bread rotted.
When my granddaughter Charlotte, tells me to “do it again” whether it’s singing a song, throwing a ball, or dancing like a fool with Snoopy and Charlie Brown, I don’t hesitate! I do it again and again because I love her!
God wants us to be that excited about seeking Him, talking to Him, and serving Him, instead of holding on to yesterday’s spiritual experiences, which has the potential to feed our miserable existence.
The psalmist wrote, “God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.” (53:2, NKJV)
The prophet Zechariah wrote, “Return to Me,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will return to you…” (1:3b, NKJV)
This is the kicker. There are a lot of things in this life that are repetitious and yes—meaningless. But there are a lot of things that are not vain, futile or hollow. You have to choose what to fill your soul with.
For some folks, it’s just the rote of church attendance, and that in and of itself can prove to be empty.
Listen to more words from Miller:
“My fear is we are living the Christian life from church-generated habit and not from sincere want. We may know church well, and well we should, but the haunting question, the echo from the pulpit on high, thunders off brick and stained glass: Do we know God?” (pg. 76)
Maybe you need to lay it down “again”, whatever is tempting you to remain apathetic and shut your heart down. Seek the living God—again. He’ll carry you…again.
Don’t be hesitant to ask Him “again”. This is the elixir of the Christian life.
Be encouraged by the lyrical video “Carry You”. Click below.
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon” except for hand washing mirror pic from pexels.com