It took me a while, but I did come to realise there has to be a good reason to wake up and get out of bed in the morning.
My parents were not the lazy sort at all. Very industrious, tenacious, committed folks who knew all about a hard day’s work. In fact I got the impression they knew about a hard day’s work plus some at times. Laziness was not an option with them. Staying in bed all day would be anathema to them even if they were ill. There was work to be done. They would be up and about doing it.
There was a stage, however, when I had left them and was able to taste some of that ‘freedom’ stuff where I was left to my own devices. In that stage it was a struggle to get out of bed in the morning. The reasons I had slavishly followed previously all seemed a bit redundant. A routine to fulfil some explanation for the purpose of being around without really being that meaningful. Wake up to go to work to work and return home to rest a little before going through that whole cycle again. Then on the weekend there was the routine of meeting others on the basis of shared worship, but with little that really impacted life afterwards. In fact that whole religious routine thing seemed to give the impression that I really lived in two different worlds never connecting and hardly connected. Not that either world was that fulfilling or deeply significant.
Thankfully in that rut where meaning was sparse and routine became wearing, God came through big time. No massive bolt of lightening, no huge booming voice that declared onto me the path I should take. It was an invitation to read His Word again – not with the religious trappings and traditions, not with my preconceptions on how God would behave. Just look at His Word – starting with the gospel according to John. Look at it, read it, let it speak for itself coming alive in engaging with the amazing things Jesus said and the challenging things Jesus said about Himself and His mission. Get wrapped up in that narrative and talk to Him as you’re doing it, was the advice. I took it on and was amazed and humbled at how little I really knew about Jesus. Of course, in the gospel according to John, I am in good company – people missed who Jesus was all over the shop. Yet here I was making a claim to have known Him and loved Him, but I didn’t know THIS about Him. I didn’t pay attention to the differing engagements with a man at the pool of Bethesda and the guy who was born blind. I didn’t see how He loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus like that. I didn’t consider carefully His interactions with His disciples to the last meal before His crucifixion and beyond. I truly did not know this man, this Son of God at all.
Very humbling experience. And the foundation for motivation to wake up and get out of bed in the morning. Every day was an opportunity to walk with Him and talk with Him and then get in partnership with Him on the business He was conducting. A business that had not problem engaging with those rejected by society. A business that had every delight in offering hope and life to all who would receive it. A business that was not afraid to upset both the religious status quo and even those who would follow Him.
Nothing was more important that the mission at hand and those who believe in Him and follow Him have more than enough to be getting on with as a means of motivation. Now I didn’t have live in two different worlds with two different lives but live one enriching and fulfilling life because it’s all about pursuing Him. This pursuit is tinged especially after His deep expression of love in dying and coming back from the dead to empower those who follow Him to continue the mission.
In the ups and downs that have blighted life since then, there’s been a constant reminder to return to this ultimate source of motivation. For that I am forever grateful.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden