"O Christ, my life, possess me utterly. Take me and make a little Christ of me. If I am anything but thy Father's son, 'Tis something not yet from the darkness won. Oh, give me light to live with open eyes. Oh, give me life to hope above all skies. Give me thy spirit to haunt the Father with my cries."
--George MacDonald, Diary of an Old Soul
"Don't shut up any avenue of your nature, let God come into every avenue, every relationship, and you will find the nightmare curse of "secular and sacred" will go."
--Oswald Chamber, Run Today's Race
Each morning I try to do a little devotional reading-hoping to align my heart and mind with Jesus and move into the day's work, challenges and adventure with my eyes fixed on Him.
The passages above, from MacDonald and Chambers, were part of this morning's readings and my heart was quickened and challenged as I found in them a congruent message speaking directly into my life.
How many different people am I? I am husband, a father, an assistant principal, a friend, a son, a brother, a boss, an ordained minister, a music and worship leader, an uncle, here in South Korea a Westerner, a............ the list goes on.
How many different people am I? How do I act and think when at home, at work, when I am alone, in a crowd, at a restaurant, in a store checkout line, in a crowded subway car, on vacation, ...........?
As creations of God, people are amazing; there are so many facets to our lives, minds, and souls. There are so many rooms in the house of who we are and the glory of God is realized in the very depth of each and every individual.
Because our complexity is from God it is most fruitful as it is lived out and realized in God. That is what I think the writers MacDonald and Chambers are touching upon. We are not to live in multiplicity, we are not to compartmentalize our lives and dwell within the "nightmare curse of the sacred and the secular." For this is a place of diminishing returns. Rather, God wants access to every part of our lives--to possess us "utterly." It is in this place of "oneness" with Jesus that we live most fully and completely.
How do I do this? MacDonald says to cry out to the Lord for help.
Romans 12: 1-2 from the Message translation sheds some light on the why and the how.
"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."