We don’t want to diet, we want to diet while winning the $250,000 Jello grand prize for being the biggest loser while confetti drops from the rafters. We don’t want to go for a run, we want to cross the tape under Olympic stadium lights on our way to the gold medal stand. We don’t want to die to bring life, we want to sort of lay down on the soil’s surface and hope that Miracle Grow sized fruit will come anyway.
We get ourselves into trouble by some of the stories we tell ourselves. In doing so, we miss the amazing realities that Christ promises to us if we will just follow Him.
It’s not possible to be glorious and born in manger. Or is it? There’s no way to be glorious and walk around with fishermen and tax collectors for three years while they ask stupid questions. Or is there? It couldn’t be glorious to be beaten, spat on, executed after bloody torture for crimes one didn’t commit. Or could it be?
We really ought to pay attention to what Christ did and what He says to do. It can’t really be more joyful to give rather than to receive, can it? We can’t really increase our influence by asking someone for forgiveness, can we? We won’t really make a difference if we love our enemies, will we? We can’t really be strengthened in heart by eating a small piece of bread and drinking from a small cup, can we?
We can enjoy greater joy, we can lead with greater (eternal) effectiveness, we can be knit more closely together with yarns of different stripes, we can be strengthened with His glorious strength if we will believe Him.
We need to do the next right thing, not the next superstar thing. We need to believe what Christ says, not what we imagine He might have said if He had read that movie script we wrote for ourselves.