I came across a couple old friends on the bookshelf a couple months ago when I was Shelfari-ing through my late night espresso high. I read Thomas A` Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ and Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest waaaay back when I was eighteen or nineteen years old, but as I leafed through the pages I stumbled across a couple passages I had underlined that still ring true today.
Be careful to maintain strenuously God’s point of view, it has to be done every day, bit by bit; don’t think on the finite…. We are here to exhibit one thing – the absolute captivity of our lives to Jesus Christ.
Never make this plea – If only I were somewhere else! All God’s men are ordinary men made extraordinary by the matter He has given them.
It is vanity to give thought only to this present life, and to care nothing for the life to come. It is vanity to love things that so swiftly pass away, and not to hasten onwards to that place where everlasting joy abides.
-Thomas A` Kempis
At times, God will withdraw from you; at times you will be troubled by your neighbor, and, what is more, you will often be a burden to yourself. Neither can any remedy or comfort bring you relief, but you must bear it as long as God wills. For God desires that you learn to bear trials without comfort, that you may yield yourself wholly to Him, and grow more humble through tribulation.
-Thomas A` Kempis
I am a slave to my circumstances. I surrender my emotions the them, I surrender my time to them, I surrender my will to them. I am blinded by my circumstances and can’t see beyond them. I am a little discouraged that I could see this in myself so long ago, yet I feel I have only worsened.
Romans 6:17 says, But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
It is my hope for this new year that I will overcome my blindness to the Big Picture, and be able to relinquish control of my circumstances to Christ.