“Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus,
You’ve got to help me make a stand.
You’ve just got to see me through another day.
My body’s aching and my time is at hand and I won’t make it any other way.”
Country Road- James Taylor
I am a very reminiscent person, I am often looking back on my life remembering old times. Sometimes I do this to a fault, it can get me in a sad state of mind where I find myself longing to go back to where I once was. But other times, when I am thinking more clearly, looking back can help to remind of where I come from and where I need to be. Recently I was thinking back on the process of buying my first car, I remember the feeling very clearly. I had put off getting my license for quite some time, but all the sudden it wasn’t something I could wait for anymore. Now the process of getting my license, saving money, buying a car, and then learning to drive stick took longer than I had anticipated (as most things seem to) but eventually I became the proud owner of a Ford Focus hatchback and I definitely sighed in relief that day and probably said something along the lines of “finally”. In my reminiscing I realized that the novelty of owning a car has long since worn off. This was slightly disconcerting because it was something I was once so passionate about and now it’s just another thing I own. So I asked myself “why did the exhilaration wear off?”. At first I thought maybe it was that I now drive an automatic SUV which is not as fun as a little standard car. But then I thought a little bit deeper, and realized in my relative poverty (mostly joking) I spend a lot more time grumbling about gas and insurance than I spend marveling over my vehicle. Ahhh insurance. I mean I like the idea of being insured, but the monthly payments aren’t so desirable. I constantly have to remind myself to have enough money to make all my payments (I know, I know, I should save even more than that sorry Dad) and it’s not even a tangible thing I am buying, I am buying into a ‘just-in-case’. Now the scary thing I face looking forward is that auto insurance isn’t the only form of insurance I might need, there is a multitude of different things to insure; property, liability, credit, health, life, apparently there’s even terrorism insurance. And all of this won’t even matter if you are deemed “uninsurable”.
Now the question I am asking myself today is “How many times as a Christian do I look at my faith as a form of insurance?” I feel like I catch myself so often storing up some sort of insurance, I follow the “rules” in hopes that it will ensure me a place in heaven. But think about how messed up that is. The relationship I have between myself and an insurance company is strictly platonic, the relationship is only there as long as I pay my share, once I pay they will help me out. I want my relationship with the Father to be way deeper than that, I never wanted it to become this platonic, “what’s in it for me” relationship. But sadly many days that is what it has become. Like my car I feel like I initially was so excited by faith but now I am weighed down by the payments and fine print wondering where the excitement went and when. The problem with this is that we were never meant to live a life insured by God but a life of assurance in Him. With Christ you will never be deemed “uninsurable”. The fine print is a myth that we make up. Or rather a lie that we constantly believe. There is no fine print in the Gospel. As Romans 10:9 says “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (NIV) and Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV) Here I will sum it up for you. Love God and love others. This is something that I find so hard to get from my head to my heart. It’s an easy theory but a harder practice. But look at the end of that second verse “… and surely I am with you…” That is exactly the assurance I am talking about. It could easily say “if you go then I will be with you” but it doesn’t, it says “go and do these things and I will be with you as you do”. I believe that Jesus is always with us no matter what, even when I haven’t made any effort lately, even when I think He is an insurance broker, even when I don’t want to “go” He is there for me. I can be sure of that because He has promised that, and He died for that. A life of faith in exchange for insurance will always leave you feeling like you have to make your next payment, a life of assurance of faith will show you that Jesus already paid.
** I chose a the James Taylor tune for this post for two reasons. 1. It’s a damn good song and fits the feel of this writing I think. 2. I just recently saw him live as a Birthday/Father’s day gift to my dad which was possibly the best show I will ever see. And with today being Father’s day it feels fitting. Love you Dad hope you always know that.**