What would that do to my ‘not a morning person’ attitude? Waking up, reminded that I’m not the centre of the universe… but not feeling a sense of frustrating despair that the world is set against me, and nor resigning myself to a life of emptied-hearted slavery towards others… I could wake up and be reminded that there’s someone who lives for me. A better kind of person who finds their joy in giving, serving, caring for and loving me! And you! And a whole world full of self-centred people! Knowing that, I’d be free to live for other people too. In fact, it would be weird if I carried on imagining that my only options are self or slavery. I could live as a happy servant of others, following in the footsteps of my own better kind of person, who’s already given me all that I could ever need.
How utterly, absurdly, too-good-to-be-true that all sounds! And yet that’s what Jesus told me He is like. Yep. Nuts, isn’t it? But listen, he’ll spell it out to you too, if you’re interested –
“Jesus strictly warned them [his friends] not to tell this to anyone. And he said, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.’
Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self ?” Read more here.
Jesus says he will lay down his life. He says that’s not the end. He says following him is following through death to life. It’s laying down our lives, it’s going through death to self, and yet the result? Slavery? Not exactly. Not the way you might have envisaged it. The result is life. We don’t just find ourselves, we get to be with him.
What do you think? What difference does living with Jesus make to you? What does it feel like? What does it look like? What would you say to ‘not a morning person’ Emily?