Thursday, August 12, 2010
Living Above the Line
Yesterday, I watched a sermon (tagged below) given by Ben Mandrell from Englewood Baptist Church (http://www.facebook.com/ebcjackson) in Jackson, Tennessee. We are not members, and we live over three hours away from this church. However, I have repeatedly heard about this pastor from several, unconnected people. So, being the nosey Internet user that I am, I decided to learn more about this pastor's past and sermons.
In a nutshell, Pastor Ben talks, in this video, about the importance of God in your life. As Christians, he questions if we are walking the walk or merely talking the talk. In one poignant moment, he asks the hard question about what our children see in us as Christians. If we suddenly passed, God forbid, and my children were prompted to remember the things important to me, would they say God? Would my children remember me reading the Bible or cleaning my house? Would they recall a direct correlation between volunteering to help a friend with trying to walk in the path of Jesus?
This thought made me think a great deal about my actions. I like to think that I give more than I receive in the name of Christ. But, am I really giving because of Christian intentions? Or, am I giving so that I am hoping it will cross off some other less than pleasing act in the past? I don't know that I have an answer. But, I do know that giving to others does help me to lighten my load. It helps me to realize that through Christ we are all welcome at His table and should share equally in His bountiful blessings. I am able to put aside my burdens, which are meager in comparison to my global neighbors, and focus on someone else's needs.
Each night as I rest my head upon my pillow, I have forced myself to make a habit over the years of asking myself if I have lived "above the line" during this day at hand. I think of each day as a gift and new slate from the day before. Intrinsically, I have a line that has been laid down by Him for me. You know, the little voice in your heart and head that tells you when you are not doing the right thing. This line, although imaginary, is very real to me. Have I lived above the line in my marriage? Have I fallen under the line in my mothering? How can I rectify these actions? Am I living by example? Where do I find my examples of Godly living?
I hope and pray that my children would think of me striving for betterment, if prompted after my death. But, I can't be sure. In my past, probably just like yours, I have not lived above the line each day. Some days I live well above the line. Other days, I am just barely eeking over the line. On bad days, I fall asleep with a heavy heart knowing that there were things that I should have done very differently. Some days are much better than others for sure.
Through prayer and reflection, I have been delivered to a place that allows me the chance to be still in prayer and strive for more...more patience, more joy, more love, more giving, more happiness, more charity, and above all else, more of this life I have been given.