Loving Racket

Everyone knows life never fully measures up to what we want it to be. And we all have ways of responding to it when it doesn't. Noise may be one of them.

Here's what I mean: ever feel like you can't turn off the TV, radio, or other media even when you're not actually listening/watching? I noticed this years ago when I had to commute to work in the car. Even on days when I wasn't really paying much attention to the radio, or when I wasn't really that interested in what was being said or played, I had to have it on. It was like turning it off made me uncomfortable - I couldn't handle the silence.

Why, I wondered? Maybe because I didn't want to be alone with my thoughts. Perhaps if I was alone with them they would wander to the chronic pain in my home, or the goals Amy and I (mostly I) had set that didn't get achieved in our time frame. Maybe the constant background noise was a way of crowding out serious reflection and thinking.

Maybe I wanted it that way.

But perhaps that's not the Biblical way of seeing life's disappointments. Maybe there's a healthier, more God-honoring way of responding to them. That's where the following quote from John Wesley, which I found just recently, really struck me. Wesley talks about what it means to really submit to the kingship of Jesus in our lives. He writes:

Whether it be higher or lower, a prosperous or afflicted state: be content that Christ should both choose your work, and choose your condition; that he should have the command of you, and the disposal of you: make me what you will, Lord, and set me where you will…I put myself wholly into your hands: put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering, let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you, exalted for you, or trodden under foot for you; let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing, I freely and heartily resign all to your pleasure and disposal
There it is: a whole different perspective on life's disappointments. Not something to be crowded out by noise, but something to be embraced as the road our Lord has ordained for us. But I cannot think this way, not truly, unless I have embraced the kingship of Jesus deeply.

So I wrote a short devotional Bible study for the Colson Center, based on this quote from Wesley, that draws us in to the Scriptures and what they say about living a Prostrate Life. I hope you find it as meaningful as I have.


Aaron said...

Awesome post - I especially love the Wesley quote. I believe this is a truth that should be absolutely critical for the follower who desires a deeper walk with God. I've talked with so many people who call themselves Christians and blame God for the difficult things in their lives. After talking about these challenging life experiences, it becomes apparent that accepting our weaknesses and struggles can bring great joy because that's when Christ's power is perfected (2 Cor 12) and when we are brought into right relationship with the God. After all, isn't knowing God - deep, intimate relationship with our Creator - real and eternal life?

Amy Guerino said...

I'm loving the Bible study you wrote to go with this wonderful quote. The questions help me think and dig a little deeper. Can't wait to finish it...but want to do it slowly. It may make it to a blog post of mine.

Crown of Beauty said...

I have downloaded the Bible study, Matt, and am looking forward to spending time to do it -- starting tonight probably.

The Wesley quote was so refreshing. I had to read it several times over. I think I will write it in my journal entry for today.

At the moment I am writing this I am with my British friend Trud, we are at Starbucks, our favorite coffee place. I was just telling her a few minutes ago that God is pleased by her for all the difficult things she has been through all these years.

And I want to encourage you too... life's not what you have planned or wanted it to be, but I firmly believe in the kindness of God's Father heart for His children. Our day is ending here, Matt...and yours must be just beginning.

You're talking about having a heart of contentment. It was the heart that God built into my husband, and he learned it the hard way, we both did. I still am.

And I know you are, too.

Please be encouraged. I'm praying for you. I loved the kneeling picture you posted. It's so powerful! My heart's brimming over with things that I want to tell you about embracing life's disappointments.

God's helped me choose the road of joy everyday, as much as I can. As soon as a hint of disappointment comes, I choose joy. It doesn't work 100% of the time, but knowing the choice is mine makes the disappointment easier to bear!

May God continue to encourage you today as you walk in obedience to what He reveals to you. May this day turn out to be full of God-surprises for you. I'll pray that it does.


Crown of Beauty said...

I wrote a belated birthday greeting for Amy on your April 20, 2009 post.

Matt Guerino said...


I think you and Erie learned contentment the only way it can be learned: the hard way! Our hearts long for home (which is good) and are corrupt by selfishness (which is bad) and both conspire to make us want more and better right now. Thank you for your insightful comments, and most of all for your prayers that God would help me see everything in life the way he does, and respond accordingly. I really value those prayers from you on my behalf.

We need to Skype and then you CAN tell Amy and I more of the story!

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