See, here’s the thing with movement. It’s surely better than not moving at all. I remember that one sticker I saw, in all places, on the ceiling of a passenger jeepney one time on the way home. It read, ‘Do not be afraid of moving slowly, be afraid of not moving at all.’
That’s probably not verbatim but you get the point… but it’s not to say that we shouldn’t be mindful of where we’re headed. If a step forward is obviously further than where we started, a step forward in the wrong direction is one further from where we ought to be. I’m not sure if that made any sense, but the main thing I do want to point out is that it is counterproductive to emphasize movement, and even flowing, without taking the time to know your bearings every now and then.
Because as I’ve just learned, or as I’ve just been reminded, we need to constantly know where we are, so we know where we’re headed.
And we don’t need to stop. GPS and Map apps don’t necessarily need you to pull to the side of the road – no, when you take a wrong turn they re-calibrate real-time, considering that you’re still in motion. But keep in mind that the moment they re-calibrate, they make sure to communicate the directions you need to take to get back on track. I used to make a joke of how programmers and manufacturers probably need to add in some shouting and insults to really drive the point that we’re going the wrong way.
I just came from the speaking arrangement I discussed in my last post, and I did emphasize that while we spare no scathing words when we tell others they’re going the wrong way here, we would do well to consider how the folks in Australia would do it, according to Eras: They would tell people to ‘Switch On, Mate’.
Maybe what I’m trying to say here is that we don’t even have to tell people to switch on. Maybe, in cases of us seeing other people going the wrong way, all we need to tell them is the next best direction to go. It sort of eliminates the middle man, so to speak – by sharing where to take the next step we automatically communicate that the steps currently being taken aren’t probably as optimal, if not outright in the wrong direction.
But now I get it. There may be times that we may not know where the right direction ought to be. There may be times that we keep going down paths that may soon prove themselves to be perilous, only because we don’t know where else to go.
And it’s in these moments I could see how slowing down, and even stopping, would help. Keep moving, slow down, or even stop if you must. If your own GPS isn’t telling you where to go, then be thankful for the people around you who help you get back on track.
So sure. Do not be afraid of moving slowly. Don’t even be afraid of not moving at all. In fact, be thankful. These are far better states to be in, versus moving, slowly or quickly, in paths that lead to death.
Be thankful for relationships that thrive out of correction, and recalibration. It’s these relationships that celebrate the relationship of all relationships – that between us and our God, made possible through Christ and His finished work. It’s by His demonstration of exactly how much God loves us, that we are able to love.
It’s through Christ’s humility unto the cross that we are able to humble ourselves – to the point that we are able to look at ourselves to, at the very least, realize where we need improvement. It’s because Christ was humble for us, that we are also able to be humble to receive correction from others as well. It’s through Christ’s intentional love for us that we are able to have the right priorities, especially in our intimate dealings with others – for as He lay down all that He is in the name of reconciling all of us to God, so we are also able to throw our pride away, if only to prioritize the relationships we have with others. He valued us more than Himself, so we can love others the same way.
And when we communicate, and when we thrive, even in situations that threaten our bonds… so God’s love for us is observed, and so we love one another even more.
We’re headed out to baptize people tomorrow, and I suppose I’d take this time to gather my thoughts on it.
Without going through additional material, I’d go ahead and just say that the rite of baptism is just like a marriage ceremony, in that in both cases, you are making a public statement. When a couple gets married they’re making it known to the world that not only are they in love, but they are committed to each other. In the case of baptism, the person subjecting himself/herself to being submerged in water is making known to the world that he/she has died and rose again, just as Christ died and rose again.
We ensure that those who wish to be baptized know what they are getting into. We communicate John 3:16 – That it’s because of God’s love for us that He sent Christ, and whoever believes in Christ would not perish, but, more importantly, he or she would have everlasting life – a life beyond death, and infinite life of value infinitely beyond what our finite senses could contain.
We clarify that to believe in Jesus Christ can be taken from Romans 10:19 – That if one confesses with his or her mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and God raised Him from the dead, he or she would be saved.
When a man says he believes in Christ, He is saying that He is Lord. He’s saying that Jesus Christ is more than a celebrity, more than a good man, more than a teacher – He not only has power, but He alone possesses power above power; He is King of
Kings, and Lord of Lords.
When a man says he believes in Christ, He is saying that God raised Him from the dead. He’s indirectly saying that Christ, who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, lay down His life, and God raised Him from the dead, so that we would be saved.
And when we put these two verses together, we’re saying two things: (1) If we say we believe in Jesus Christ, we are saying that He is Lord, and God raised Him from the dead, and therefore (2) we are saved because we shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
The old has passed, and behold, the new has come. And this is what we proclaim in baptism, this is what we make public in baptism: That we believe Christ is Lord, and when He died, so everything that we were died with Him… But when He rose again, so we rose again, as new creations, who shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
Some additional Scripture for me to meditate on can be found in Romans 6:3-14:
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Even further reading, if needs be, can be found in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians:
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:17-32)
And I suppose that’s what I want to say. As I bring all of this together, so I go even deeper. For see, just as we say that we died and rose again, so we also say that our old way of thinking died, and rose again. And it ties in to how we deal with ourselves, and others. No longer do we live and move out of a mindset of lack and losing things, but we ought to live and move, knowing that we not only have life that is of value infinitely superior to us, but we have life everlasting; as such, we live and move, out of a mindset of overflowing, and celebration that we gained everything through Christ.
I think I needed to remind myself of that today. That, or I was reminded by Ann, and/or a combination of steady mindsets and other entities – that we relate to each other without the need to take advantage, but out of the overflow. In other words, we move from a surplus, and not scarcity, of life and love. In other words, we love because we are loved, not because we’re starved for love.
There’s a difference between being starved for attention, and being hungry for progression. If we lose track of what is what, then we are starved by default.
If you’ve made it this far, I’d like to apologize, I was all over the place. But also, thank you. This was really more for me than it was for anyone else, if only to get all of my thoughts together. If only for me to recalibrate. If only for me to remind myself that I need to switch on. If only for me to understand that in the greater scale of things, the everlasting life and love I have because of Christ would have me flowing, eventually back to the paths of righteousness… for His name’s sake.
Until the next post, God bless you.
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