During a recent move, it was brought to my attention that I am a recipe hoarder. We had a subscription to the local paper where we lived, and each week I excitedly retrieved the Wednesday newspaper from its holder next to the mailbox. I never have been much for reading a newspaper page for page as some do, but the food section of each Wednesday’s paper was cause for exception. My favorite article each week was the one featuring local cooks and a collection of their favorite recipes. Usually these recipes were the good old home cooking kind that didn’t take a lot of time or call for a bevy of strange ingredients that could not be found in your average Southern town.
My intentions were good, but only occasionally I would actually try one of the recipes out. The stack however continued to grow and would probably still be doing so had we not moved. I still keep promising myself that I am going to sort through and keep only the most interesting and easily prepared recipes. So by now you must be wondering where I am going with all of this.
When thinking about something that I was steadily collecting but not using to its full potential, I thought about my own Christian walk. I have been in church since I was on cradle roll. I have been taught untold numbers of Sunday School lessons, heard even more sermons, and memorized Bible verses. For most of my life I have been in the church collecting information about God, Jesus, and the Christian way of life. But, much like the recipes I collected, I only acted on the most pertinent and easily executed information gathered through time.
Only in the past few years have I dug more deeply, past my topical knowledge of what being a follower of Christ entails, and, oh, the joy that effort has produced. How sad to have had all that information for so long and simply left it at that-a wealth of truth left untapped that could have been incorporated into a relationship like none other we experience in this world. To know is not enough; to step out in faith on those truths and put them to the test is where we find that abundant life we read about in scripture- that abundant life that seems to elude us in our hectic, daily routines. James 1:21(MSG) says,
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything, but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!”
So, as Paul said, I beseech you to take life to the next level. This will take committment, time, and some sacrifice on your part. Maybe you will have to sacrifice an hour of television, time spent on a computer, or time devoted to a hobby. How any of these pale in comparison to God sacrificing His son for us, to what Jesus endured on the cross. It’s time to stop collecting data on Christ. Chances are your data bank is full and the new information just gets booted out. Take what you have been given most of your life if you are like me, and really study it, digest it, take it on the jouney from your head to your heart. Ask God to lead you in this process, and He will walk with you each step of the way as joy in a true relatonship with Him, beyond words on a page, becomes your reality.
How many of us if given a gift would put it aside and leave it unopened indefintely. Those truths you have are God’s gift to you. Will you leave them unopened, know just enough to get you into heaven? Or will you open the gift of these truths and find the abundant life in Christ you have believed for others but not yourself. Only there will you find the comfort for your deepest despair, the answers you often seek. Don’t let shallow Sunday School answers be enough anymore. Wade out into the deep waters with Christ and see what He has always had in store for you! Oh, and don’t hoard what Christ reveals to you. Share it!