Saturday, December 8, 2012

Day 8: I Don't Want to Survive, I Want to Live

My son's favorite movie is Wall-e.  It's kind of strange for a heartwarming kids movie.  The first 40 minutes or so of the movie takes place in post-apocalyptic earth.  A little trash robot, Wall-e, has been on earth for 700 years scooping up trash and compacting it into trash cubes in an effort to clean up earth and make it inhabitable again.  Then a robot, Eve, gets dropped off by a rocket to scan the earth looking for any sort of plant life so that she can report back that earth is inhabitable again.  Wall-e and Eve become friends, but when Wall-e shows Eve a little plant specimen he had found, Eve confiscates it and shuts down, waiting for the rocket to come back and get her, since that is her "directive".

Wall-e follows the rocket that comes back for Eve to a huge space ship that has been housing humans in space for 700 years.  Now that Eve has returned showing that life is once again growing on earth, it is time for the people on the space ship to return to earth.  When the pilot decides it is time to return, the computer on board the ship fights him, saying that even if life is growing on earth, humans may not be able to survive there.

That is when the pilot delivers one of the best lines of the movie, "I don't want to survive, I want to live!"

Are you surviving or are you living?

So many of us walk through life feeling as though we are barely keeping our heads above water.  It may be financially, emotionally, socially.  We may feel like we have too much to do and we keep getting buried further and further in piles of work.

I think it's telling this time of year that people use the phrase, "Surviving Christmas".  More than any other time of year, people are stretched in all those areas:  financially, emotionally, socially, physically, and with way more work than we feel like we can possibly handle.

For us Christians, though, God doesn't intend our lives to be this way.  God doesn't want us to survive.  He wants us to LIVE!  And one of the effects of Jesus dying on the cross and rising again is that we never have to worry about survival again.

Part of the freedom that comes from Christ is that once we give Him our life, we don't have to worry about survival.  We are eternal beings.  We need not fear death or destruction because we know those are temporary things.  Our God is bigger than money, bigger than our emotions, bigger than our crazy families or our bad friends.  God is bigger than our bodies or our energy or the yearly cold and flu bugs.  God is bigger than holiday shopping, holiday parties, Christmas cookies, decorating, traffic, stress and year end reports, sales quotas or whatever other stress we have at work.

What's ironic is that is what the season celebrates...that freedom from death we are supposed to be experiencing.  Galatians 5:1 states, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."  If we don't keep our eyes focused on the One that gives us Life, if we don't keep our eyes focused on Christ, the source of eternal Love, we become slaves to all those things of this world and we miss out on the freedom of Christ.

We fear that if we let go of the slavery that comes from trying to control relationships, financial freedom, and all the other things of this world, that we will die.  But we forget that there is a God in Heaven that provides for us, who works all things in our favor and who wants to give us every spiritual blessing if we just get out of His way and let him work.

You have been set free!  You have been freed from the slavery of merely surviving.  You are free to Live!  Especially this time of year, when so many struggle to survive, choose to have faith in your Heavenly Father and choose to Live!

Activity:  Find one thing in your life that you are stressing out about this time of year and choose to give it over to God.  Allow Him space to bless you and give you freedom.  Trust Him to work a miracle in your favor.

Prayer:  Pray that your faith in God builds and becomes stronger each day.  Pray that God helps you let go of the chains that keep you as a slave to the world and that this holiday season, you may truly get to Live!

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