“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb. 12:2)
We cannot have everything we want, simply because we cannot do everything we want. It simply will not all fit within our lives.
To borrow from a Ravi Zacharias DVD…we cannot live in the country and in the city, travel the world and go to college, find time to read all of the books we want to read, have an active social life, participate fully in sports, get married, have children, pursue a career, serve on the local school board, volunteer for weekend social charity work, spend time with old friends, answer emails, and be active in the social network like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram…all at the same time (although this comes close to describing some people’s lives).
People make choices and prioritize the activities of their lives because there is not enough time and energy to do everything. As a practical matter, life is not only about what we actually manage to do, but also about what we choose not to do. Some things have to be cut out of the daily routine.
It has been said that a sculptor creates a masterpiece in marble by the pieces that are chipped away. The finished marble statue is created by the material that has been removed from the rough-hewn block of stone. There is a final outcome envisioned within the artistic eye of the sculptor, but the actual process to get to the end-product of a marble statue carving involves the chipping away of the excess, waste material.
The cross of Christ feature in all of the biblical narrative stories of faith is unique. As Abraham walks from the city of Haran towards Canaan, with each step he takes Abraham’s personal plans for worldly conventional normalcy are being replaced by the higher plans of God…beyond anything Abraham could imagine.
No one could or would invent the concept of the cross in the biblical narrative stories of faith, because it is so contrary to horizontally conventional, worldly thinking. The cross embedded within human experience falls outside of humanistic creative imagination…because it is contrary to normative thinking…which forms part of the explanation of the occurrence of the actual cross of Jesus Christ…of worldly rejection…on Calvary Hill at a definite time and place in history.
But what equally validates the divine origin of God-composed journey of faith life-scripts as portrayed in the Bible…are those pieces of our expectations for worldly conventional normalcy that must be chopped-out, chipped-off, cut-out, and removed from the marble statue for any real and focused progress forward to be made.
Jesus is recorded in the gospels as saying: “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mk. 8:34-35).
We can’t do everything. Only the true and living God knows what to chip away to achieve a masterpiece in action in our lives. This is what we see in the biblical narrative stories of faith from Abraham through Paul. This is the example for new covenant believers in Jesus Christ today…who have the promise from Jeremiah 31:31-34 that all who follow God according to the truth of the scriptures will know Him from the least to the greatest.