So yesterday I went out for lunch with my friend, and he lent me this old Starfield cd. It happens to contain one of my favourite songs, “Tumbling After”. It was, and remains one of my favourite songs merely because of the lyrics (and its musical part as well, of course). I’ll give you a taste of the chorus
I’m falling down, tumbling after You
I’m overwhelmed, tripping over simple truths
In all I’ve found, there’s nothing thats more beautiful
Than what I’ve found in You.
I find that daily I am falling down, overwhelmed, and tripping over these simple truths that I’ve known my whole life. Its just so hard to actually put these things into practice. I’ll give you a few examples …
A short list of my shortcomings in my life
- Reading my Bible every day
- Offer up everything in prayer and supplication (aka pray all the time)
- Love your neighbour as yourself (numerous times in the Gospels)
- Have no other gods (or idols, things you value more than, people you value more than, …) before God (oh wait, that includes myself)
It literally knocks me over sometimes when I realize that I’ve completely failed, and that I can’t even put these simple concepts into practice. But do you know what the absolute beauty of all of this is?
it doesn’t matter.
Yes, you did read that right. It doesn’t MATTER that I’ve completely failed, it doesn’t matter if I purposely say something to hurt someone else, it doesn’t matter if I have put something before God … He loves me anyway, and He gives me a second chance.
I’m not saying that its totally ok for me to go “God doesn’t care if I follow his commandments”, I think thats utterly ridiculous, and completely undermines the Christian life and the gospel. We are called to be followers of Christ, and to strive to be all that we were created to be. Paul puts it beautifully in Philippians 3
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
Paul states that he isn’t perfect, but that he will continue to fight to win the prize of life everlasting in Christ … and he does this by imitating the Cross of Christ (seen in the verses following). Hint …. to win a race you kind of need to participate, not just sit there picking dandelions.
But back to my point — though I have completely failed, God chooses to give me another chance. It doesn’t matter that my life is a complete mess and that there is no way I could fix everything by myself. Because, in fact, thats what He wants. He wants to take my life, and gross and disgusting as it is, and start cleaning it up. He constantly writes in the Old Testament that when his people truly return to him, if they seek with all of their heart, they will find Him. I just read one of them today in Jeremiah 15:19-21
19 Therefore thus says the Lord:
“If you return, I will restore you,
and you shall stand before me.
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,
you shall be as my mouth.
They shall turn to you,
but you shall not turn to them.
20 And I will make you to this people
a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you,
but they shall not prevail over you,
for I am with you
to save you and deliver you,
declares the Lord.
21 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked,
and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.”
And you know what? Its the most beautiful thing. In all I’ve found in my life, in everything that I’ve sought after, longed for, desired for, lusted over … there is nothing, absolutely nothing that compares to the love, acceptance, joy, and peace that I have found in Jesus Christ.
So while falling down kind of hurts, when I fall and tumble after, at least I know I’m following and that He will pick me up, dust me of, put some band-aids on my scraped up knees, and set me down again to start running to win that prize.