"When a man really gives up trying to make something of himself-a saint, or converted sinner, or a churchman, a righteous or unrighteous man,....when in the fullness of tasks, questions, success or ill-happenings, experiences or perplexities, a man throws himself into the arms of God...only then he wakes up to Christ"
First, I have been pretty lax in posting this summer. I'm hoping that will change as I get into more of a routine with the school year. On another note, I love this line from Bonhoeffer and am thankful for such a great reminder this morning. So often, we turn the Christian life into making something of oneself. For me, being in seminary, and working in full time ministry, "making myself" in these capacities is often the criteria for which I determine my identity and life. This inevitably leads to a roller coaster of emotional and spiritual highs and lows. When I am doing well at these or am "making something of myself", I feel good. When circumstances aren't as favorable, I'm a wreck. It leaves me feeling like nothing I do is enough. It leaves me feeling like a spiritual orphan, who is tirelessly running on a treadmill in order to earn his Father's approval. My worth depends on my performance.
The gospel offers us rest from this tireless spiritual treadmill. The gospel offers us a peace that surpasses understanding. In the gospel, we have a secure identity as a child of God. We no longer have to earn approval, because in Christ, we are already approved. Our significance no longer depends on our performance, because Christ performed for us. This is freedom. Yet, I am not free to disobey, but am rather freed in order to delight in my Heavenly Father and serve him. This is true life! And as Bonhoeffer says, we only come awake to this life when we finally give up on trying to make something of our self, and throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the arms of God.