You gotta wanna.
Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias has for years had a radio broadcast entitled, “Let My People Think”. I remember the first time I heard an announcer say the title, I anticipated hearing, “Let My People Go”. I’d already mentally skipped ahead, my ADD-influenced mind playing leapfrog with the next several ideas or thoughts in line.
“Let My People Think.”
Wait. “Think”? I–I think I am. Thinking, I mean. I’m so thinking I’ve already thunk a whole bunch of thinks ahead. I’m usually thinking so many thunks my words describing them get jumbled up and I sound like the poster boy for verbal lysdexia.
“I was wondering when you might inadvertently stumble over the obvious. Uncharacteristically sharp today, are we?”
What? Who invited you?
“I need no invitation; I’m part of you, sadly. (Sigh…) And to think what I might’ve been had Providence smiled on me and made me Mentor of a worthier specimen.”
“What load ‘o mule muffins, eh? Zis nutcase evah toe-uk nowamul?”
Ungh. Super. You had to wake him up, didn’t ya? What’s goin’ on, 3….
I was doing remarkably well until your slightly-misaligned and maladjusted cohort logged in.
“Misa– maladj– I? Surely you hyperbolize. I assure you I—“
“Ay, gackface–ainNOway I’m one-em, one-a-dem hy-POIV tings. ‘Nyou call me Shirley again, yo mirruh’s goan die LAFFIN evva time you shave. Jis’ step on ovvaheah an—“
Two? Three? Ya mind? I’ve got work to finish. Butt out.
Look, 2. Einstein. You forget–I know you far more than you know yourself because, sadly, I’m unfortunately riot-cuffed to you as well. Knock off the highbrow junk; His name is God and you aren’t my mentor: He is.
And 3? Stuff the smug back in your gym bag. Both of you: out. Now.
(Jeopardy music . . . Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo— doo doo doo doo doop– doo-doo-doo-doo-doo doo doo doo doo . . . Nice chromatics, by the way.)
I hope I do this often enough to remind you of a vital truth. Everyone you meet is much more complex than you’d ever dream. And that includes yourself.
You gotta wanna.
Nothing of worth you want to do during your lifetime here ever happens by accident.
The things you think have, happened because you’d been preparing and positioning yourself to receive them.
Oh, you may not have intentionally, overtly done it. But part of you was keenly aware of the content of your dreams, and was paying close attention to what was going on around you.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. . . . I am the gate: whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (Matthew 7:13-14, John 10:9-10, NIV).
Here’s that same couple of verses from The Message: “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life–to God!–is vigorous and requires total attention. . . . I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for–will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of”(MSG).
Yes. John 3:16 says everybody’s invited because Jesus died and rose again for everybody. Even you, no matter who you are, where you’ve been or what you’ve done. He did that before you ever asked Him for a thing. That’s LOVE.
It’s intentional love; He meant it.
That’s the point of this ‘gate’ thing. Jesus is the one who said the crowd will flock to the easier, simpler, Religion Lite deal. He knew churches would be crammed with good-intentioned but brain-on-standby people taking a positive message and polished delivery, add it to a rollicking worship set by super performers, and feel God’s Good Housekeeping stamp of approval on their picture.
Yeah. The Wide Gate Syndrome.
The narrow, small gate never was intended to give the impression God’s a big Meanie trying to discourage you or me from getting what we truly need from this life, and then kicking back with Him for the rest of whatever, whenever Eternity is.
You know what it means. Good teachers always tell you things in threes, right?
You gotta wanna.
How’s that say it? Oh, yeah. “…vigorous and requires total attention.”
“So we ignore the good, positive, uplifting stuff?”
No. Receive all of it that’s good for you, and let it lift and encourage you.
Then go deeper.
Hunt for the small, narrow gate that doesn’t have a long line in front of it.
Be as intentional in consistently seeking Him – The Gate – as He was in setting up this whole thing to include you.
I love you and I believe in you.
© D. Dean Boone, July 2015