Five Minute Friday: Rise

Along the Way @mlsgregg.com (4)

Gentle Reader,

On the couch. Feeling sick.

Linking up with Kate and the crowd. We: rise.

Go.

Don’t want to rise to the occasion. 
Don’t want to get up on my feet. 
I want to pull the covers over,
And just go back to sleep.

These are the first words that came to mind tonight. I’m sure it’s the stupid thrush. Third time I’ve had it. I’m tired and achy on a good day, so throwing this pestilence into the mix makes things worse. Probably should have stayed home today, but we’re so busy at work right now…

Does anyone else feel that way? Feel compelled to get up, to go, to be there when you really shouldn’t? When someone else should pick up the slack?

I’m sure there are. I’m sure there are people reading this who feel that pressure. Who can’t discern if it comes from within or without.

We are schooled in this world of ours, this society obsessed with the vaguely-defined “American dream,” to sacrifice all on the altar of success. The house, the cars, the 2.5 kids. The corner office. The title. The not-necessarily-bulging-but-definitely-not-empty bank account. The race of rats and the Jones’ with whom to keep up are particularly plaguesome for the Type-A folks who really do want to do a good job.

But you know…it’s not worth it. Going to work when we’re sick and overextending and saying “yes” when we really mean “no.” Constantly covering the behinds of  the slackers. Automatically replying with, “No big deal” because we can’t recognize when we’re about to burn out.

Last night I listened to was is easily one of my favorite passages of Scripture. Psalm 119 starts off immediately confronting the franticness of our lives:

Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart! – vs. 1-2 (NKJV, emphasis mine)

Those who seek Him with the whole heart are blessed. Not the ones who ignore fevers and families for one more hour at their desks.

Stop.

I believe in working hard. That’s how I was raised and that’s why I find slackers so everlastingly irritating. I believe in doing the best you can do at whatever it is you do. But I wonder. I wonder why I put so much emphasis on my job in comparison to seeking Him. It’s not that I don’t seek Him. I’m thinking in terms of attitude and time. I wonder why I worry when I miss a day or two of work, even for a vacation, and yet don’t worry if I miss I day or two of Scripture reading.

It’s a dangerous place and a dangerous time we live in. No, there are not guns held our heads. We are not (yet) compelled to renounce Christ or die. But how easy it is to set seeking Him aside in the pursuit of that which lasts no longer than the smoke from an extinguished candle. The seduction of this Western world and the hope of winning the prize of the dream made real clouds our thinking. We blend faith with culture and think God wants us to have the house and the cars and the corner office.

But what if that’s not His plan?

Do we even ask?

I may just be preaching to myself here, but I suspect not. I rise early to get to work on time, but do I even think of rising for Jesus? To spend time with Him? To lay myself at His feet?

Time of sweet, holy, worship. Thanking Him for who He is. Seeking to know Him more.

That is an occasion is should rise to.

My journey to faith. (15)

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26 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Rise

  1. I know how hard it can be to make rising early and spending time with Jesus a habit. But I also know how hard my day is if I don’t. And so I do. It’s a relationship building with compounding returns on your investment. I hope you feel better soon!

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  2. I’m standing up and clapping for you right now friend! I. Get. It. All! The rising to our jobs guilt, exhaustion and all and the need to rise to Jesus because that’s where our lives should be focused. Love this! Hang in there! I’m praying for you!

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  3. Oh, I’m guilty of this: “Automatically replying with, “No big deal” because we can’t recognize when we’re about to burn out.” And it never does anyone any good, does it. I love Psalm 119- one of my very favorites! Thanks for sharing this encouraging, and thoughtful message. Well done!

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  4. Very well said, and I hope you feel better soon!

    Doesn’t apply so much to me, though. I may as well get up and push hard, because I am not going to make it anyway. No use saving ammunition when the little people are through the wire and you’ve just blown the last daisy-chain of claymores.

    However…this is illness, not combat, and my intransigence may be good for my morale, but it’s hell on the wife who has to watch me flog myself to the point of collapse.

    Here from FMF.

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  5. Yes that is indeed an occasion we all should rise for. Your post is very thought provoking and has me pondering what I rise for but really should rise for. Feel better soon!

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  6. Marie, I so appreciate this post. I’ve been thinking about how easy it is for us in the Western culture to seek after our temporal dreams, desires while we 1) forget to spend regular time with the Lord, the One who gives us all that we need and much of what we want, and 2) to forget that many in our world have not even a fraction of our abundance.

    When we keep Jesus first, we can have a clearer focus on what He wants us to spend time and energy on. And that may mean giving up the pursuit of the temporal. We can also have hearts that look and respond more like His.

    Great post my friend.

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    1. Ah, Jeanne! So much wisdom in your words. “When we keep Jesus first, we can have a clearer focus on what He wants us to spend time and energy on.” Amen.

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  7. “The seduction of this Western world and the hope of winning the prize of the dream made real clouds our thinking. We blend faith with culture and think God wants us to have the house and the cars and the corner office.” <—This was a good point after the STOP sign. 🙂 I'm glad you kept writing. I go past the 5 min mark too. We are in a world of go, go, go. I'm already in full swing and it's only 5:42 a.m.! I pray we slow a bit today and in the future days. <3, Jenn FMF #30

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  8. Praying for you, sweet friend! Rest well… be healed, but more importantly – be His! I love that He is calling you to worship… opening eyes and heart to put Him first (again – because, He graciously does that with every one of us – because every one of us let’s Him slip from top priority more often than we care to admit!) I just got off the phone with my girlie… who was on her way home from work with a temp and sore throat… she went in, because – like you – she is loyal and a hard worker but she quickly realized it was a mistake. (Oddly enough – even though she is not supposed to be working if she is sick there, they kept her longer than they should have and she was exhausted and frustrated. Praying for both of you today!) xoxo

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    1. I definitely feel a stirring to worship. I just want…time. Both quiet and music. Both words and silence. I just want to be with Him and let that be first and who cares about anything else?

      So sorry your girlie is ill! That’s the worst. I’ll pray for her!

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    1. I’ve read here and there about different cleanses, but haven’t pursued it. I had thrush twice (back-to-back) when I was a teenager, so it’s been…gosh, 15 or 16 years now. I may just drop you a line.

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  9. I just loved your post. I find myself agreeing with most everything you say. I feel like we have the same work ethic. I too find slackers “everlastingly irritating”. It’s a different world we live in now. Everything vies our attention…why is is that I am okay with missing my day of scripture sometimes, but it’s not okay with anything else? Ugh! My sin stained heart. I love your blog and I plan to check out some more from you! #fmfparty #13

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