The gospel that Jesus came teaching was about the nearness of the kingdom of heaven. There is actually a reality pressed up so close to us that we can pretend is not even here. We can live in this material world as if maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain is all there is. We bend inward on ourselves as to always strive for our own pleasure, measuring it in the eyes of the world. The measure is by a standard that is thrust upon us from a turbulent cultural river. The goal is to satisfy ourselves that we and our own have it as good or better than those in our eddy and that others believe this is so. All conversation and social interaction stands as opportunity to make ourselves feel better about ourselves, whether it is by enhancing perceived virtue or an outright grab for relief and pleasure.
But there is a road less travelled. There is a living for the audience of One. I know because I have tasted of that joy. There is a freedom of not living for my selfish gain but to work as unto the Lord, enjoying that only He is my reward. Only He knows my work and the injustice done to me by others. For it does not matter what man thinks. What can man do to me? Why does it not matter? Because there is this whole other reality of deep colors and sweet sounds and smells. There is joy beyond measure that is mine for the tasting if I just let go of material stuff and engage by faith.
How rare it is to speak with a person who demonstrates care for me. It has happened and it is so unusual. Maybe one or twice? How ready is the opportunity to stand out by loving well. But, I am surrounded by judgment, envy, narcissism and numbness. I am called to love those very people – not by going through the motions and actions of love, but by really caring for that one who sits in front of me judging me. To walk on that less travelled road means to really care for that offensive self-seeking man who is deaf to my words. And to love this lost one as God has loved me. To engage in the shallow world that he lives in with the hope and assurance and comfort of fellowship. Why try to speak to someone who never really wanted to hear? Listening and loving is the only hope for my lost friend who is spun up in this material world. I don’t need any worldly success or recognition, for that stuff is vanity, vapor and waste that is passing away.
Let me love boldly, listen well and work hard at service. Ascribe to the Lord the glory that is due his name. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. In the City of our God – not in this dusty place.