Have you ever paid attention to the collection of things in our lives designed to be reminders? As I look around my room, I see all sorts of things. I have a clock that keeps me mindful of what time it is. I have a bulletin board that holds invitations, famous quotations, and certificates, reminding me of good things. I have pictures of my family and friends. They remind me of who they are, how much I love them and really great experiences that we have enjoyed. Unfortunately, these things have failed to become reminders. Instead, I pass by them every day, mesmerized and tranquilized by my busy life. As I flop on the couch at the end of a long day, they cannot compete with my television, as it blurts and blasts [seemingly] innocuous messages.
This random busyness separates us from our hearts causing them to stagnate and lie dormant. This is not at all what God planned for us. Sure, we have faith that we are saved and will live with God eternally, yet we fail to break through and experience him today. Why not? Peter explains that we have failed to grow in our knowledge. When we do, he says, we will gain self-control, with continuous dedication, resulting in brotherly affection and, finally, above all, love (2 Peter 1:5-7). Did you hear it? Love. It is the thing that we are chasing so endlessly, it is reconnection with our hearts. Sadly, like the song says, we are Looking For Love in All the Wrong Places. Or, perhaps you are not looking for it at all, being content to live the busy and distracted life I described earlier.
Is there any hope? According to 2 Peter, the answer is yes. It says, “those who fail to develop, shortsighted or blind. They forget that they have been cleansed from their old sins” (2 Peter 1:9 NLTse). You see, when we don’t engage God and grow with him, we quickly revert back to our old lives. Wasn’t it these old behaviors that led us to the Cross in the first place? We are, in fact, living our old lives. If you are like me, that is a disappointing and shocking realization. This does not, however, lead me to despair. Instead, it is a reminder.
Today, I am reminded of my failure to achieve the life he calls me to and also, of his abundant mercy. Thankfully, His mercy is new every morning and will never end (Lamentations 3:22-23). I am reminded that no matter how hard I try, I cannot change myself. Instead, I must put on the clothing of Christ, which is love (Colossians 3:14-17). All of this brings me to one last reminder, that the fullness I seek is made possible by a single, great sacrifice. Today, I am drawn, again, to the cross. This time, I come not so much for what it will do for me, but for what it can do through me.