Weekly Devotions - November 7, 2017
Seeking the Transcendent
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18, NIV 1984).
I woke up this morning with hypocrisy glaring at me from the bathroom mirror. During my prayers this morning, I envisioned a nurse I’ve been working closely with for nine years, to whom I have never spoken about Jesus the Christ. And yet, I counsel healthcare professionals and students all over the country about the necessity of evangelism.
Do I really want people to know Jesus? If so, why for nine years have I never mentioned Him to my friend and coworker?
Do I really believe what I think and speak? Belief is authenticated by action.
Do I really care about her as a person? I know I do.
But I just never recognized her as one who needs Jesus. Couldn’t see the tree for the forest. I know that Christ is vital for the masses, but I never connected that He was vital for this very one beside me.
For me, it has been the barrier of inappropriateness. Speaking a word of Jesus to my colleague has just never seemed appropriate, never fit into my natural thoughts or conversations, never fit the natural flow of my workday.
And perhaps it never will in a natural, material world.
The great writer and thinker Dr. Richard Swenson taught me that all the important things in life are not material, but transcendent…love, truth, beauty, eternal life with our Lord, etc. If I walk through each day with both feet stuck in this material world, it takes a huge effort to drag the eternal here to join me. It will never be natural. To grow God’s kingdom on earth, I must live each day with one foot in the material and one foot in the transcendent, envisioning the natural world though lenses of the eternal.
I must see life as God sees it and touch life with His fingers.
Great thoughts, but what does this mean tomorrow when I meet real people who need Him?
It means I must check in with my Lord throughout my day. As Paul instructs, “Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NIV 1984).
It means I must see each person as both natural and immortal.
It means I must continue doing the hard work of natural life as my mind and heart seek eternal goals.
It means I must pray for specific people whom God wants to touch….pray for them in my morning devotions and pray as I am with them, that God’s Spirit will provide the moment of transcendence where He will speak through me, appropriate or not.
And, specifically for me, it means I must do less natural work and take more time for eternal relationships.
I commit to doing so.
Please help me focus on the eternal as I work hard in the material, so that you may be glorified and friends of mine will become friends of yours.