“Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.”
“Today I bought the most rocking pair of shoes I have possibly ever owned. I may even love them too much to ruin them by wearing.” -Laura Summers Tweet
I saw this tweet today from Laura Summers (she was joking — I think) and it reminded me of a few cyclists I used to know. These guys bought these beautiful road bicycles, you know, the kind they ride in the Tour de France. And they loved them so much they were always perfectly clean, lubed, and polished. But the thing was, they were so focused on keeping their bikes clean and beautiful, they didn’t risk ruining them by climbing on and riding. And of course, that’s what they’re designed to do.
I can be like that about my faith sometimes. Jesus is so perfect. When it’s just He and I, in prayer, it’s so perfect. When it’s just me, by myself, singing praise to Him, it’s so perfect (except for my voice). But as soon as I venture out to engage with people, things start to change fast. When I venture out to church, or if I engage in conversation with a brother, or if I try to help out someone in need, problems arise. Things get dirty. Things get messy.
Just as soon as I involve people, elements of carelessness, chaos, and confusion are introduced — even heartbreak sometimes occurs.
If Laura chooses to wear her shoes, they’ll get scuffed up. They’ll get dirt on them. It’s not a question of if, but when.
When my buddies decide (finally) to ride their bikes, they’ll accumulate road grime, guaranteed.
When I engage with people, for Christ, there are going to be problems. But I need to engage anyway. I need to love God enough, and to love people enough, to find a way to deal with the difficulties I’m sure to encounter when I put myself out there among others.
God wants me to. He knows I can’t love people without engaging. And He knows if I bear fruit for Him, it’ll get messy. But He designed our faith this way. (James 2:14-26)
Life will be messy if you choose to engage, if you choose to put yourself out there for Him, if you choose to bear fruit.
But we have to do it anyway.
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.