Olympic athletes spend their lives in training. Every minute dedicated to their goal of competing in the Olympics. Eat to victory. Sleep for triumph. Run, stretch, practice for gold. An earthly crown…that this year was not even awarded.
Does my life reflect that level of devotion to my heavenly crown? That crown, as Joni Eareckson Tada pointed out, is the only thing I will be able to give my Savior.
“When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction:” – Proverbs 24:3
Up near Bandelier National Monument is a burned out ranger’s cabin. The wooden portions were eaten by a fire long ago, and the stone chimney is slowly being “reclaimed by nature” as one photographer put it.
That cabin is like our Christian life. Our faith stands in danger of being “reclaimed” by our fleshly nature unless it is actively and consistently built up. The storms of our culture are beating down on our little cabin. The floods of internal doubts and depression are pressuring our foundations. And the intensity of disapproval from those around us is deteriorating our roofs.
But praise God! He has provided us with tools for repair and revival, and using them every day redeems our cabin and protects us from being reclaimed. Through His word, prayer, meditation, memorization, fellowship and so on, God enables us to stand strong and unmoved and to grow in beauty and influence to those around us.
I think my cabin could use a new wreath on the front door…that says:
Neighbors and friends,
Come right on in.
This cabin is cozy,
As all can see.
It was made for the King,
And to His praise it sings.
Bookworm, I am and unashamed. Recently, this rough quote came to mind from a childhood book by Lois Walfrid Johnson:
“Aren’t cabins cold and drafty?” The heroine asked.
Her foil stiffened. “Everybody knows how to chink a cabin so the wind doesn’t blow through.”
For a generation, the refrain was: “Our children are leaving the church in droves.”
It’s because their faith was like a cabin that has been left unchinked. It was never prepared for the harshness of life.
Chinking fills the empty spaces between the logs of a cabin. Chinking in our lives fills the empty space in our lives. Whatever takes up our empty time is our chinking. It either insulates us from the stressors of life and the suffering they bring, or it leaves us vulnerable to the cold.
Our culture squanders free time on video games, movies, mindless books, and repetitive (and lewd) popular songs. We have been discipled to gravitate to whatever feels good, which often dulls the senses and muzzles our drive for God. And then we meekly surrender free reign over our hearts and minds to these “harmless” amusements. They are the holes in our faith.
We are chinking with fluff, and the wind is whipping through.
In a heart that is God’s – His songs should be the soundtrack. In time that is God’s (and it all is, by the way) – His Spirit should be the driving motive. In a mind that is God’s – His stories and teaching should be at the frontlines. And in a life that is God’s – His truth should prevail over all in power.
It is time to chink the gaps with faith not fluff.
Think about it. What stories do you want to hear over and over again?
Once the mystery is solved, there is no substance to the story.
Once an adventure concludes it closes the chapter in our minds.
But a love story, that can be told and retold. For love is only the beginning.
That is the story of the Cross.
A desperate love story of a scorned Lover and a duplicit love.
A terrible romance of a love willfully taken captive and a Lover who paid the ransom with His own tortured death.
A tale of redeeming love that opened heaven for all who would believe and follow.
That story is worth telling over and over again.
Come with me as we grow in fellowship with each other and our Savior to whom belongs the Amazing Escape from sin and death and the Amazing Journey into glorious life.