Each Tuesday I’ve been heading off for an extended date with Jesus! One of the things I sometimes do is read through ten different chapters in the Bible (I use Professor Horner’s Bible Reading System http://www.challies.com/sites/all/files/attachments/professor-grant-horners-bible-reading-system.pdf – though he created it to be used daily – I find that’s a bit much when I have so many other things I’m doing in the Word – but once a week reading from each of the ten lists I’m finding to be such a blessing – and hey! I’ll get through it, I’m just on the seven year plan! :0) I find it gives great structure for my dates with Jesus, usually I’m on my bike and it’s amazing the places He’ll lead me to – I try to read each chapter in a different location and then divide one page in my sketchbook into 10 boxes and I draw a quick picture summarizing the main thing from each chapter that stands out to me. From remote coffee shops to graveyards, old churches downtown to various park benches and gazeboes, it’s always an adventure!!!
And I never cease to be amazed at how the scriptures will relate to each other! Got to love those concatenations!!!
Just this past week I was reading through the elevens! Since I just started this a few months ago I’m in the 11th chapter of most of the lists! And I started out with Matthew 11 where verses 28-30 jumped off the page at me, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Then after biking to the next location, I turned to Genesis 11 and was I ever amazed to find the word “Come” was in there too! Only this time it was “Come let us make bricks… Come let us build ourselves a city… and let us make a name for ourselves…” Then they go on to build the tower of Babel – but you know not one of the names of these builders is listed! And what’s crazy is the second half of that chapter, from verse ten on, there are a ton of names listed. The ones whose names were listed were not those who attempted to make a name for themselves but simply those the Lord chose!
Now I was raised to make a name for myself – to put effort into this, to value this, to find my value in this. Yet God’s ways are not our ways.
So here I am just a year short of 50 and barely anyone knows my name. I’ve not accomplished much of any import. As far as making a name, I’m a big disappointment. Small wonder I struggled so much to give up my plans and my ambitions when the Lord asked me to. And small wonder I just spiritualized those ambitions even when I gave up worldly ambitions. As long as I made a name for myself it didn’t matter whether it was in the word’s kingdom or God’s kingdom. But now the Lord has hidden me, called me out of all that was making a name for me before so I could learn I truly am hidden with Christ in God, to learn I still have much value, infinite unchanging value simply because I am His.
I’ve been pondering this for a while now and realize when I respond to the world’s invitation to “Come” make a name for myself, it really does get in the way of responding to the Lord’s invitation to “Come to Him… and find rest for my soul.” I so need to respond to His invitation to be at peace being hidden with Christ in God trusting that when Christ who is my life appears I also will appear with Him in glory.
I don’t need to “make a name for myself,” because I bear His name!