For Lent, I am walking us through a book called Apprenticeship With Jesus.You can follow along by reading my highlights and reflections. Extensive previews of the book, including excerpts, can be found through Google Books and Amazon, as well as eBook purchasing options.
Day 16: Baptized Into A Whole New Way of Life
– “We either accept weaknesses in good people or we have to tear pages out of the Bible” – Robert Duvall
– The primary activity of living as a an apprentice to Jesus is to be with him in the river that is our life, allowing the past to be downstream, waiting with him as the future flows into the present moment.
We can only experience God in the present. We should avoid anything that keeps us from the present moment. Hurriness keeps us from the present moment because we are preoccupied with the where we are having to be next. Technology keeps us from the present moment because we often use it to distract us from what is right in front of us. But what is right in front of us could be the God of the Universe. Our past is done, completed, and our future hasn’t arrived yet. All that is left is this moment where Christ is present with us wanting to show us how to live and offer his presence. May we long for the present.
Apprentice Activity: Being With Jesus in the River of Life
– Find a quiet place and begin to breathe slowly and envision you are being baptized
– Be in the present moment with Jesus
– Everything that is downstream is in the past (avoid these thoughts). Remind yourself that the future is flowing to you
– Be with Jesus in the present moment without thought to the past or future. Ask for nothing but his companionship and help
This may sound weird to some people but I have started taking more baths rather than showers. I find the relaxed moments soaking in the tub to be helpful for thinking about God and listening to his voice. So, naturally, I went through this exercise during a bath. I think it was much more meaningful actually being in water than just using my imagination.
What is Jesus teaching me? This is more of an observation over the last ten years of focusing on my spiritual growth. Whenever I have a deeply profound moment with God and am thrilled by what Christ is doing in my life, there will be an incident or an encounter that will be straight from Satan himself that will try to shatter that closeness that I felt with God just a few moments before. It happened yesterday and I have come to recognize it for what it is – Satan trying to steal, kill, and destroy. “Get behind me Satan.”
Have you seen roadblocks surface just when you were making strides in your life with Christ? What was your response? How did you handle it?