Tuesday, March 26, 2019

This or That?

By now you know that I am rarely content with the 'mundane'. I find 'commonplace' to be a little less than challenging for me. I need to always be learning, finding satisfaction in even discovering one little solution to a problem, or realizing where a phrase came into origin. There is something good about not settling for the mundane, but for some this is a very frightening matter. The ordinary is where they are most content and there is little desire to go beyond it. Why? It is 'safe' and it requires very little to 'maintain' that 'safe place'. Get into areas outside of the 'ordinary' of life and the demands increase - for our time, effort, and even our talent!

Jesus said, "You're tied down to the mundane; I'm in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I'm living on other terms." (John 8:23)

Jesus is answering the accusations of the religious leaders - they are all hung up in the fact that he was from Galilee and that he could not possibly be of the line of David, so he could not be the Messiah. They could not see the evidence of his divinity because they were so focused on the details of his lineage. It is kind of like not seeing the trees for the forest. To their accusations that he could neither be prophet or Messiah, he rebukes them with these words. In his answer, he reveals much about being bound by the mundane - tied down by it. It was like an anchor around their foot, holding them to one thing and not allowing them to see the bigger picture. This is what the focus on the 'ordinary' will do to us - it will tie us down and keep us from seeing the bigger picture in life. As long as you are living in terms of those things that you can see or touch - the natural - you will never develop an interest in what it outside of the 'natural'. We will live in a mindset set up to totally miss the supernatural in all Jesus said and did and still does!

Jesus reminds each of that his focus is not the here and now. He has a bigger purpose in coming into this world - it was for the purpose of our individual redemption. What is beyond your horizons? It could be that we are so focused on what we see in the here and now that we are missing the bigger picture just beyond that horizon. Just as Jesus was reminding them that he does nothing that his father does not first direct him to do, he wants us to realize he is still working in our lives today - though he isn't here in the 'flesh', he is still here in all his power and might. He is all about fulfilling the wishes of his father - accomplishing the work of salvation so that we can move from the mundane and the natural.

The goal of Jesus is to point us toward the connection with his father that he enjoys. His hopes are that in making that connection, we'd move beyond the mundane in our lives. In simple terms, the mundane is that which is of this earth. When he challenges us to look beyond the mundane, he is challenging us to look toward the heavenly, the spiritual. The mundane is both common and ordinary. The simple change in focus from what can be seen and touched brings us to a place of experiencing the uncommon and the extraordinary. We choose the "terms" by which we live. We either remain earth-bound in our focus, or heaven-bound in our living. The choice to not trust in what is natural - easy to interpret and experience through the senses - is what affords a shift from the mundane to the extraordinary. Jesus is in connection with the one who chooses to operate in the realm of extraordinary - in the realm of possibility. By being 'connected' to him, we are also able to live in the realm of the extraordinary!

Sometimes, I make choices to settle for the mundane - in those choices, I often find myself thoroughly disappointed by what the natural and the ordinary have to offer. The mundane may be the easiest - the quickest and the most readily available - but it is seldom the most rewarding. We need to see the importance of the choices we make. The truth is that we determine the outcome of the choices in the very moment we make the choice! Just sayin!

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