the myth of a nice little life

i’ve been chewing on this passage from Walking With God by john eldredge and wanted to share a bit of it here:

i want two things that are mutually opposed — i want to live a nice little life, and i want to play an important role in God’s kingdom. and it’s in those times that i am trying to live a nice little life that i make decisions and choices that cause me in small and subtle ways to live outside jesus. the shepherd it headed one direction and i am headed another. not to some flagrant sin — that’s too easy to recognize. instead, i’m simply wandering off looking for the pasture i deem best. i don’t even think to ask God about it…

[there are times when to remain in Him] we need to pray some more. do it again. seven times if necessary. but sometimes i don’t want to pray anymore. i just want to get on with things. i just want to [live] like a normal person.

a very dangerous way of thinking.

as christians we don’t get to live a “normal” life, and accepting that fact in all the details of our lives is what allows us to remain in jesus. i remember a friend admitting something like this about his family vacation, “i don’t want to ask God if we’re supposed to go to Hawaii this year. i just want to go.” and so you can see how the collision of our desire to live a nice little life and our need to reamin in jesus can bring about a sanctification of our will, where all things are truly subjected to Christ.

but there’s something we need to be honest about: part of us doesn’t really want to hear what God has to say.

really. even after years of God’s rescues and surprises and blessing upon blessing, there’s a part of me that gets irritated when someone says, “let’s ask God.” the act itself is a disruption. sometimes it feels like grinding the gears. stop? now? ask God? i’m bugged. that’s part of it. and the other part is, if we do hear something, we’ll have to obey…

i know something of this. i don’t ask because i don’t want to know. if i know what God thinks, then i’m faced with the decision of whether to follow His counsel or not. what was initially just a quandary or a moment of confusion because an issue of obedience. i don’t want that sort of clarity. furthermore, i don’t want God messing with my approach to life.

and so we come back to holiness. to ask is an act of holiness, because we are seeking to follow our shepherd. to live by faith in him. then we are faced with the choice to obey what we hear, and our holiness is deepened.

this “nice little life” thing is really in the way. (pp 89-91)

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3 thoughts on “the myth of a nice little life

  1. That quote is so-o-o right! I feel sure that western christianity is in such a poor state because we are so materialistic – we are so rich we have too much of our own to protect, and we can so easily forget that we must put the kingdom first!

  2. this has to be one of my favorite (and one of the hardest) qoutes from that book (quickly becoming one of my favorite books)…this is something that I feel caught up in so often with God. I want to surrender the nice little life idea. and just when I think I have, he shows me that I am still gripping onto it with both fists…ahh…

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