You fall into a routine and you get comfortable as you navigate the responsibilities, joys, and frustrations of every day life. Yet, even in the midst of the comfort, there is a gnawing in your heart causing you to wonder if you are missing out on something larger.
I know I have.
C. S. Lewis wrote; “We are halfhearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
I have settled for a life that is far less than the life God desires to give me. This isn’t about how successful my life is, but about how closely I am living out God’s purpose for my life. I am content to live a moral life and enjoy time with my family, but often I miss out on the life that God is calling me to live.
This is true for many American Christians. Our lives are so easy and smooth most of the time that we are able to live life on cruise control and pay little attention to God. We have settled for a life of moral living (when it suits us), attending Sunday worship (when we have nothing better to do), and giving $10 (if we can spare it). We have made Christianity something we do rather than who we are. In the process we have settled for life in the slums, when God wants to take us to the beach.
The problem is that we don’t understand that God promised us a life that is greater than we can imagine. He intended for our lives to have a purpose, to be lived with joy, and to have a positive impact in this world. God created us to be part of something greater than ourselves.
This thought makes me excited. The reason I get excited is because this truth means I was created for a purpose. That purpose is not to sit in a pew once a week, to live a nice and moral life, or to give a certain percentage of my income to Kingdom work.
I was not created for such a life, and neither were you. Don’t settle for life in the sandbox. Accept God’s invitation to the beach.
Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
(Ephesians 1:15-18; NLT)
The Apostle Paul prayed that the Ephesians would receive the wisdom and understanding they needed so they could have the knowledge of the life God created them to live. This prayer implies that the Ephesians did not understand the hope they had been given through Jesus. In the words of Lewis, they could not imagine what an offer of a vacation at the beach would be like.
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of our lives I think we fall into the same trap. We have settled for the emotional experiences of a worship service and the fellowship of a small group, but we don’t grasp all that God has for His people.
The full extent of our hope is difficult to describe. In fact, human words cannot do it just. That is why Paul prayed for the Ephesians to be filled with the knowledge of this hope. We need to make it our practice to ask God to fill us, and our church families, with wisdom and understanding, so we too can have the knowledge of the hope we have in Jesus.
I think it is time for us to leave the slum. Let’s ask God to take us to the beach.