After we had enjoyed a good walk through the thermal fields in New Zealand, my wife and I began to hear strange growling noises coming from our abdominal area …
Once again time for a nutritional fix! I spotted a snack bar next to the entrance of the attraction and entered it with anticipation. However no sooner had I crossed the threshold, when I was greeted with the following line:
“Next door please!”
I figured that the clerk erroneously thought I wanted to buy a couple of entrance tickets.
“Sorry, I just…”
But I was interrupted: “Next door please!”
“You don’t und…”
You can guess already what I was told over again, this time it was said with more vigor and a tone higher than my ears were used to.
Her finger jerking towards the next door, the clerk frowned. Even her eyes frowned, and I was glad that they couldn’t speak. I would have been afraid of what they might say!
Needless to say, I left the store with my stomach still growling. I wanted to tell it, “Next door please!”
Too often we let our souls dominate, and we don’t seem to hear others. And even worse, we don’t even hear what our own hearts are telling us. Our preoccupations become our soul obsessions, and we no longer have time for others. That is, unless they can be fit into our schedules in such a way that it meets our own terms!
I only know of one person who never let His soul dominate Him. On the eve of His death, aware of what was awaiting Him, He prayed “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39 NIV)
How different my prayer would have been, had I been in His place. But then, I am much more soulish that He is. Everything Jesus did was diametrically opposed to our prideful exalted “psuche” or soul. We expected a King. Instead He came as a servant. We anticipated royalty living in an unconquerable fortress. Instead He was born in a stable, his first bed was an animal through. We were looking for an earthly kingdom. Instead He brought love. We waited for someone who would refute all our enemies. Instead He allowed Himself to be mocked, spit upon, ridiculed and beaten down.
Everything He did was designed to reverse the fall, to put our spirits back into first place and quell our souls and our pride. His whole life exemplified utter simplicity and humility. He never even claimed a dwelling place for Himself: “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20 NIV).
In all things He depended on His Father, and He always waited to receive word from Him: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (John 5:19 NIV).
He came to follow God’s will and His will alone.
How different our lives would be if we followed His example! Would there still be starving children in our world? Would anyone still die from loneliness? Would divorce still be rampant? Would we still work as if money and power is really what matters? Would we still look the other way when someone is in need? Would we still live a hectic life where relationships are a thing of the past?
Or would we finally discover pure and radiant love?
Love came to our neighborhood and we didn’t recognize Him. Love showed us the way to real, exhilarating life, and we ignored Him. Love knocked at our doors, and we killed Him without second thoughts (See John 1).
Love is still offering us the opportunity to make a difference in life. Will we let Him? Or will we simply state: “Next door please!”
(To access the entire “Digging Deeper Into Victory” devotional series, please click here.)