This past week, I’ve been reading through the book “When God Writes Your Love Story” by Eric & Leslie Ludy. (If you’ve never read it….I encourage you to!!!) I’ve read it before, but it was quite awhile back and I really didn’t remember much of it 🙂
Yesterday, I came across a part in the book that Leslie wrote that I greatly enjoyed, and I want to share it with you all…
Is It a Chore or a Choice?
“In our abandonment we give ourselves over to God just as God gave himself for us, without any calculation. The consequences of abandonment never enter into our outlook because our life is taken up with Him.” – Oswald Chambers
As a child, do you remember being forced by your parents to submit to slave labor? You know, when they made you bear the heavy yoke of cleaning up the kitchen after dinner? If you were at all like me, you probably weren’t too thrilled about doing the terrible task, and maybe you even complained the whole way through. My famous line was the tearful accusation, “You treat me just like Cinderella!” while dramatically leaning on the broom with a beaten and downtrodden look, as if I were going to faint from exhaustion. (My pathetic cry for mercy never seemed to move my parents to sympathy.)
But no matter how you much you hated the awful chore, you did it anyway. Why? Because you knew that negative consequences would result if you did not. Your parents had already made terrible threats, like grounding you from your bike or sending you to your room if you did not obey. Like me, you probably did the bare minimum requirement just to get the job done, and you constantly asked, “Can I be done yet?!” until they finally set you free from the dungeon of kitchen torture!
Now try to recall another memory. We all had our angelic moments as children. For some like me, those moments were rare, but still they did exist. At one time or another, you probably experienced something similar to the following scenario.
Your parents went out for the evening. The kitchen was a mess, but no one asked you to clean it. You got the brilliant idea to do something “special” for Mom and Dad. So you set to work (all by yourself!) and scrubbed the dishes. You did an extra-careful job to get them sparkling clean. You even wiped up the counters and swept the floor. (Now that is really going the extra mile!) You couldn’t wait for your parents to come home and notice what you had done.
When they arrived and exclaimed, “Who cleaned up the kitchen?! This is wonderful!” your heart swelled with pride. Remember that feeling? You actually enjoyed the whole process. Cleaning the kitchen went from a dull drudgery to an act of joy. Why? Because you were not motivated by a rule, but by love for your parents.
When obeying God is a chore that we are “forced” to do, it becomes a lifeless act of drudgery and we complain the whole way through. God becomes the Big-No-Fun-One trying to make our lives miserable. But when we learn who God really is and we base our decisions out of a passionate love for Him, we find joy and delight in obedience. We even want to go that extra mile for Him!