I say "relative" because it seems that this house in which I currently live does not see complete silence on the best of days. Sacrifices are indeed made in the life of ministry.
It's now 11:30 in the evening and I should really be heading to bed to rest up for a big day of ordination studies tomorrow but I've unfortunately been thinking again.
A dear friend, though one with whom I've not spent nearly enough time, left a comment on my last post (for those who may not be plugged into facebook, my blog posts are imported to facebook and the comment was left there). In reading the particular comment I began to think of how much respect I have for some people.
There are some people who truly eminate Christ in their personality and practice. There are those who are just so full of Christ that when you see them all you can think is "that is a devoted follower of Christ". It's an incredible thing to witness, but something that blesses me to no end when I run into such people. Of course even the "greatest" of humans has his or her quirks and "downfalls" (for lack of a better term, I should really get into reading dictionaries), but there are definitely some people who, with the way they live and love, somehow make you forget the idiocyncracies of flawed humanity about them.
I suppose upon closer inspection of anyone, one could see the carnality of behaviour, even in the most radiant believer. But I do have to say that I so long to be the kind of person in whom Christ can be seen.
I want to be the kind of person who is humble about himself and boastful of God. I want to be lost in the background of an extravagant scene of servanthood in which only Christ can be seen. I want to be forgotten in the midst of Christ being glorified by anything that might come from my mouth or actions.
The very thought of this brings tears to my eyes mainly because it seems so far from where I am now that I grieve my own inadequacy. But, even as these tears arrive I do remember the reality of the gospel and the words of the apostle Paul as he passionately persued righteousness and urged his Galatian brothers and sisters to do the same said "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me."
Ah, what a sweet melody. Christ lives in me, as long as I live in this body it is by faith in the Son of God who not only loved me, but sacrificed himself for me. It's a love story, of which I am so graciously able to be a part.
I've not arrived, I've not made it, I've not even come close. And oh how I long to reach that goal that has been set, as Paul again asserts he has not "already attained all of this or have already been made perfect" but I will "press on toward the goal, to win the prize, for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Some are just closer to their master than others and I think we see that in the maturity and and composure of those whose walk is closer with Christ.
It's an idealistic approach to a relationship with Christ, I recognize this, but I think we can all think of at least one person who displays qualities of such a relationship with Christ.
And thanks Mel for your kind and encouraging words, God's timing is indeed perfect.