The Worn Path of Daily

When we moved to West Africa the summer of 1999 with our four children, we moved into a house with high block walls, massive metal gates, and an abundance of razor wire.  We were delighted to know that we had inherited a beautiful German Shepherd “Guard Dog” as well. Thinking that she would both protect us and be a playmate for the kids who said they felt like they were in prison behind the walls with bars on every window.  We quickly learned that her guarding ability was limited…. And like her name, Daily ran around the house obsessively, over and over and over until there was a dirt path through the grassy areas where she had worn away the lush tropical grass.  Ignoring the kids who wanted to play with her, she went round and round and round until someone knocked at the gate, and as soon as we opened the door to see who it was, she would try to sneak inside the house to hide.

She was designed to be a Guard Dog and that is what we had wanted her to be, roaming the compound, ensuring we had no intruders.  In her brain, she was doing her job, running round and round and round. But in reality, she was useless as a guard dog and was a drain not only on our finances to feed her, but on our time as well as we had to cook the food to feed her.  

I was reminded of her this morning in one of our ladies prayer meetings as one of our colleagues shared a vision she had of green grass growing up where we have worn a path doing all that we think God wanted us to do.

How often are we like the dog Daily – frantically running round and round and round, thinking we are doing what we were brought here for, when all the while God wants us to slow down, to expand our vision and to actually enjoy the grass under our feet, rather than just wearing it down until all we have left is dirt which turns to boggy mud at the slightest rain or hard times. Dear Lord, please help me to look up and seek what You intend for me to do.  Help me to better understand Your design for my life and ministry here.  Help me to appreciate the green grass under my feet and not wear it out by my repetitive “doing”. Please help me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting when I am focused on what I think I should be working on, so that I can lay my ideals aside and reap the fullness of life and blessing that You designed for me

path worn in the grass

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I will not disown the name Christian.

This morning as I was reading my Bible, in my Chronological plan I came to 1 Peter 4.  As I read verses 14-17 I was immediately challenged in my spirit. 

14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are greatly blessed, because the Spirit of glory and power, who is the Spirit of God, rests upon you.

15 Let none of you merit suffering as a murderer, or thief, or criminal, or as one who meddles in the affairs of others. 16 If you suffer for being a Christian, don’t consider it a disgrace but a privilege. Glorify God because you carry the Anointed One’s name17 For the time is ripe for judgment to begin in God’s own household. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who refuse to obey the gospel of God?

This is right where I am. I was just telling my daughter the other day that I have been feeling like I needed to distance myself from other “Christians” who are not acting very Christ-like.  As I look at social media and talk with family and friends, I see people using the name Christian to put others down, to rant and challenge others for things they perceive they are doing and the perceived reasons they are doing those things, like getting the Covid-19 Vaccine. (I know good people on both sides of this controversial issue.) Sadly, often I see people using the name of Christ as a weapon to cut others down, all the while seeming to brag about how righteous they are.  And yet, I don’t see this behaviour as being something that would make Christ proud.

I really believe that the enemy is using, so called “Christians,” to taint the name of Christianity so that we, as Christians, do not want to be associated with those others by being referred to with the same name.  And yet, here in the Bible, it says that if you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed.

How do we deal with this?  At first, I had tried to think of another name I could refer to myself as, like Christ follower, or something along those lines.  However, I am feeling convicted that I need to not look to distance myself, but to allow Christ to shine through me with truth, humility, love, forgiveness, and unity.  I need to ensure that my reputation as a believer is pure, not that I am better than anyone, or pure for that matter, as I am sinful, I have not even come close to perfection, but….I am striving for it.   I am daily seeking to be a true follower of Christ, and I welcome being labelled as a Christian and if that brings with it negativity, so be it – I will not disown the name Christian. 

Lord, I pray that You will guide and direct my heart to be Your true follower, to not allow what the world thinks about that name to change my desire to be labelled as Yours – a Christian.  Amen

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