BaskingYesterday, in two separate conversations with good friends, a similar concept came up. One friend talked about the Ash Wednesday service he'd been to where the priest had urged the congregation not to work too hard at abstaining in Lent, but actually to do less, and to actively "waste time with God." In other words, slow down and enjoy the presence and love of the Father.
In the other conversation I had we were talking about how often in churches we work hard on the quantity of our work for God instead of enjoying the quality of our relationship with Him.
The story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 should actually be called the "tale of two brothers who didn't 'get' their dad." In this beautiful story Jesus describes the reaction of the older brother who is quick to quantify his work:
"Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends."
The older son worked with a transactional mindset: "I've slaved hard, therefore I should receive a reward."
The Father's answer is so deep...
You are always with me - your status is a given.
Possession/Inheritance/Reward is not based on performance but on our awareness of His love for us.
Even our Lent resolutions (whether we're abstaining or adding) won't earn us any more "merit" with God. They're good habits to build muscles of character, discipline and service in our lives, but they won't change how He feels about us.
The older son had absolute gold - he was in the presence of his Father. He just didn't realise what he had.
Here's your challenge for the weekend: Use the time to bask in the idea that you are beloved of God, that He chose you, delights in you, saved you and is with you.
|'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. (Luke15:31)|