Friday, June 17, 2011

Law Sours Everything

So, this morning I woke up at 6 am. Nice and early on my day off. I'm a morning person, and even though I did roll over and doze until my wife got home, I did have a simple thought before I drifted off to sleep.

One of the great blessings of our life is simply this - waking up. Look, God has given me another day. I had laid myself down to sleep, and I have in fact not died before I wake. And in my case, as I'm fairly healthy and not at the twilight of my life, my day is a day of positive opportunity.

And yet, for how many people who are otherwise healthy, is waking up an odious thing? Is it dreaded? There are times it is rough for me even, the morning person -- I don't want to get up.

And why?

The Law.

I don't want to *have* to get up. I don't want to *have* to do the things I do. I wake up and the Law is on my mind - I crack open my eyes and I think about obligations, I think about all the running around, I think about the fact that when I set foot on the floor it's going to be 14, 15 hours of running around before I get to kick my feet back up.

And then, I can hate the morning. Because I view things in terms of the Law, in terms of what I have to do.

Contrast this with the realities of life. I am alive. I have a comfortable bed in a comfortable house in which I am sheltered and given rest (I'd say plenty of rest, although young Victor may put the Kabosh on that when he is born). I have comfortable employment doing tasks that I am well suited for and by-in-large enjoy (any job can be frustrating, but being a Pastor probably is never going to show up on "Dirty Jobs"). My family is doing well. First Article stuff - all in line and in fact much more than I need or deserve.

And of course, I am redeemed, I know my Savior, I am the dwelling place of the Spirit, I understand my place in the world, for I know that I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that I get to walk in... and when my feet hit the ground I'll be walking in those good works (whether it's my busy I know it's going to nasty day or whether it's my day off - God's got good in store for me through what is done in my life).

All around is nothing but blessing and goodness and mercy and love to me.

But if I think in terms of the Law, if I view life through the lens of Law, must, obligation... everything falls apart. The Law threatens to take this life where I have been blessed beyond all understanding, especially in this fallen, nasty world where nothing but horrid crap should happen to me, blessed amid the stench of fallen creation by a God who is so incredibly loving to me - the Law threatens and tells me to hate this.... and what is my tempted reaction.

Meh... I don't want to wake up.

The Law is one evil, cruel and harsh master. Quit looking at or focusing on or worrying about what you have to do - it's killing you. Rather, look to Christ, see all that He has given you, all that He gives you, and put those feet on the ground knowing that you are in His care all this day.

Hmmmm... I think Luther Morning's prayer sort of deals with this...

For into Your hands I commend my body and soul... that's a good, Gospel-ly way to start and see your day.

1 comment:

scott said...

I think Bonhoeffer touched on this in his Creation and Fall. There he talked about the life that God gives, and how this can either be taken as a promise or a curse. Those who receive it in faith see life as a gift. Those who rebel ultimately see it as a curse.

One of Bonhoeffer's descriptions of hell (if I remember correctly) was those who see living life as a command, rather than a gift. That gave me shivers when I read it first. Still does.