Here I am three days late with my blog (fully aware I am the ONLY one judging myself). Funny how amidst a trip to San Juan, filled with busy days, I can manage to blog. Yet, the week I return home my days some how disappear, poof! And it is Sunday of the next week. I suppose this only affirms my necessary effort to work towards balance in my life. Seems to be a constant process, right? One that is maybe not meant to be immediately achieved, at least not in the sense of checking it off the list. But maybe instead one that is meant to keep us focused on the important things; one that places us in the center of the path God has for us – yet continually acknowledging that if it were up to us alone we would fore go it all way too easily. Well, maybe that is a bit melodramatic . . . or maybe not. Maybe there is something about a journey to balance that reminds us who we are, and of course who He is.
Jesus took a lot of journey’s in his life. In reality, he was constantly on the move, traveling from town to town- yet he knew exactly where he was headed and how things would end. Of course we do not share this in common with Christ, meaning we do not know exactly how our journey will end. But we can learn from him a lot about the process of the journey itself. Luke, chapter 9 sheds some light for us. It goes like this,
” 51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; 53 but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54 When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But he turned and rebuked them.56 Then they went on to another village.
Here is what amazes me. The clarity of Jesus in regards to his purpose: he set his face to go to Jerusalem. Because of this the Samaritans did not accept him. Being that the Samaritans and Jews were at odds, this man set towards Jerusalem would not be welcome in their country. Still, he kept his face towards Jerusalem and stayed the course.
Is my face set towards Jerusalem? Do I know where I am heading and why? Do I clearly see the purpose in my life and allow all other things to revolve around it? Or more likely I try to revolve what matters most around the things I want and desire. In other words, what is at the center pulling it all together and attempting to keep my life in perfect balance? What do I use to stay focused, on task, on course? Is my face set towards Jerusalem?
Jesus never pushed aside the fact that he was (and is) the Savior of the world. Jerusalem meant death, torture, pain, and suffering; it meant the end. Yet, his face was set towards it, and it defined not only who he was but it guided all his interactions. It centered him, balanced him.
What does it mean to have my face set towards Jerusalem? I do not share the same exact mission as Christ, to save the world. But I do need him at the center of my universe to keep my balance– of this I am sure. Keeping turned towards Jerusalem means something a little different for me. It means keeping focused on the “big” picture that too often I allow to be overshadowed by the little details. It also means having a clear vision of Christ, and who I am in him.
Every time I feel off balance I notice something else too: I am disconnected from my Creator, my Savior. I am trying to problem solve on my own, fix things and people that are broken, control things I cannot, understand things I am not meant to, and take on things bigger than God may be asking of me. This provokes the ever famous switch-a-roo of priorities. Are you familiar with this move? This involves taking what is not so important and placing it at the center and then of course trying to make everything else in life fit around it, rotate nicely -stay balanced. JUST TO BE CLEAR: this has yet to work for me.
In my experience every time I take Christ out of the center, take my eyes of Jerusalem, I not only lose my balance but I lose myself. Because you see, it is not that the details don’t matter- they are crucial to our lives. They are our families, our careers, our ministries, our relationships — they are our EVERYTHING. But they simply can never take the center space, that is reserved for our Savior.
Is my face set to go to Jerusalem? Through the grace and mercy of Jesus it has to be . . . of I’ll be forever off balance.