The author starts right off getting real. He quotes John Piper who wrote, “The critical question for our generation – and for every generation – is this: If you could have heaven, no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?”
Wow! How about that question. At first, I thought, maybe I could. But then I thought more about it and I have had moments where I haven’t been so close to Christ. I’ve had times when I got too busy to seek him or listen to him or spend time with him. And you know what, I didn’t like it. So I don’t think I would be satisfied. In all honesty, I might be for a few hours, maybe a few days. But then loneliness would set in. And all that stuff that seemed so good, wouldn’t be so good anymore.
As I read the beginning of this chapter where the author is talking about how we act when we are truly in love with some, I couldn’t help thinking how quickly we, as a human race, let that passion die. It is a rare thing when you see couples who have been together for, say, more than a year, who are still as passionate about each other. In the beginning they had to talk every day, sometimes multiple times a day. And I’m not say the word talk like, “So how was your day?” “Good, and yours?” “Good.” And that is it. In the beginning everyone wants details. But after being together for awhile, we are fine if we only talk once a day. And we really don’t need all the details. We let the passion die off. And even if we are the rarity, we really don’t have the same passion. And keeping the passion is work, it doesn’t just flow from us like it did in the beginning, we have to work at being passionate.
It’s not surprising that we would do the same with our love for Jesus. The problem is that we forget that our relationship with him takes work too, just like any other. We have to work to keep that passion. The difference is, if we work just a little bit in our relationship with Jesus, he rewards us with filling us with more passion. It doesn’t take near the effort of maintaining any other relationship. As the author points out, God told the church of Laodicea to simply open the door. That’s all the effort it takes.
Here’s a profound statement by the author, “you have to stop loving and pursuing Christ in order to sin. When you are running toward Christ, you do not have opportunity to wonder, Am I doing this right? or Did I serve enough this week?” When you are running toward Christ, you are freed up to serve, love, and give thanks without guilt, worry, or fear. As long as you are running, you are safe.”
I have found this to be so true in my life. When I loose my focus on Christ, I do start wondering these things. When I loose that focus, life become harder to live, I feel like I’m running uphill.
I just need to keep focused, stay on the path that leads right to his lap. When I do, I enjoy the walk, no matter what is thrown at me. When I don’t, I don’t. Keeping focused, keeping the passion, keeping Christ … opening the door and allowing him to come in and eat with me, and I with him.