Sublime Doors

So I mentioned in my last article that I have a new dog, Weezy, who is afraid of everything. She doesn’t seem to realize that instead of breeding in a kennel, she is now a pet for a loving family. And although she loves to run around the yard with her “special collar” on, she will not go out there unless I am with her. It’s a bit frustrating. Yesterday when I wanted to do my workout, Weezy wanted some more outside time. Since the weather was nice enough I just left the French doors behind me open. I thought the temptation would overcome her fear, and maybe she would do some roaming in the yard on her own. Well, it took 15 minutes into my workout before she even realized the door was open. With a look of curiosity in her eye, she timidly tip-toed onto the back porch. As I was doing a set of “surrenders” Weezy was longingly staring out at the yard. And then, just when I thought she was going to go for it, she came running back into the house and laid herself right in front of the open door. She let out a sigh and watched me finish my workout. I was bothered by all this while faithfully pumping out my plank twists. Why in the world wouldn’t she just take the opportunity? How could fear hold such a grip on a dog riddled with instincts for fresh air and adventure? The analogy hit me like a Looney Toons anvil. How many open doors do I lie in front of out of fear? The thought stuck with me so I delved into a Spurgeon sermon (Vol. 4) this morning titled, Fear Not.  His passage was Isaiah 41:14: “Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you,” says the Lord and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Spurgeon points out that we should know our own weakness; and believe God’s strength (360). Sounds great, doesn’t it? Of course, I had to read the whole sermon to get that point hammered in tight. (Has anyone picked up the irony here of opening an article with strengthening the body and then commending you to rejoice in your weakness?) The fact is the sinful nature in me hates my weaknesses. Here we see that God can call the men of Israel worms, because that’s about all our own attempts at righteousness add up to. But when we see this, our fear of man is revealed as well. Why should I fear what man can or cannot do when I have an almighty God? Do I doubt God’s strength and fear my own? Spurgeon says, “It is childish to doubt; it is manhood’s glory to trust” (361). My “aha” moment was at the end of the sermon when he says, “You know not, ye atoms, but that your destiny is sublime” (362). Do we live like we believe our destiny is sublime? Or do we feel more comfortable building our safe, man-made towers of achievement? Whether it is in raising my three lovely children, taking care of my body, creating a great atmosphere in my home, or even pointing others to Christ, I seem to lock doors on even my biggest blessings. How does our future destiny affect our current daily living? I think one major difference is the fear-factor. Our actions or non-actions will not be fear-based. We will be far-sighted rather than near-sighted. We will be less controlling and more risk-taking. Instead of building walls around our weaknesses to protect ourselves, we will allow ourselves to be more vulnerable as we faithfully lean on God’s strength.    My so-called achievements listed above are blessings, don’t get me wrong. My Weezy-lesson is to not turn them into safe houses. When my vision is corrected with a proper eternal perspective, I see that the children God has blessed me with are eternal beings and I have the privilege to partake in their transformation. They aren’t mine—they are the Lord’s. My body isn’t just a deteriorating vehicle for passage through this world. It has been made in the image of God and points toward a future resurrected renewal. My home isn’t just an expression of my tastes, economic status, and interests, but an intimate place to share the mini-culture of our family in service.  And as big as these treasures are in my life, they are really the little things that I am to be faithfully serving.   My trust in God will diminish my fear of losing these blessings, because I know that he himself is the true blessing. It’s like the cartoon picture of opening a door to find another door, and another, and another, until we finally find the one we’ve been knocking on all along opened for us.