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Monday, February 22, 2010

Settling for the Slush

The Thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. John 10:10 (New American Standard Bible)

I grew up in a city outside of Los Angeles. The L.A. Basin seldom gets snow and if areas do it is usually just a very light dusting. When I was a child during the winter if my family wanted to play in the snow we had to drive a couple of hours into the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles. Along Hwy. 38 around the 7000 foot elevation there would usually be plenty of snow to play in after a major Pacific storm had moved through the Southland. It was always a treat for us southern California kids to get to see, touch and play in the white stuff.

I do recall during the first years dad would drive my mom, my brother and I up to the mountains that as soon as I would see the first patches of dirty, slushy snow along the highway I would beg dad to stop so I could play in the stuff. Every time mom and dad would patiently assure me, “There’s more snow up higher and it’s cleaner and deeper. Those patches by the road are dirty and there’s not enough to really enjoy.” After a few winters of that I learned to ignore the sporadic snow with its dirt, slush and pine needles and look forward to getting higher into the mountains where some snow drifts would be up to my waist. My brother, Gary, and I would launch ourselves into it and play till our hands and feet ached from the cold. It was great fun.

I had been willing to settle for the slush and if someone hadn’t been along with me who knew better I would have came home with visions of dirty snow, mud and mire as having been a real romp in the snow. I find there is a parallel to my walk with Christ in that story. That old thief Satan loves to try and steal my security and satisfaction in Christ and to see me be satisfied with sparse and slushy temporary things. And how often does Christ have unspoiled and deep experiences for me to dive into and I am only willing to settle for dirty and slushy snow. The riches of Christ are so deep and vast that if we really recognized what was up the road higher we would be astounded and would hold the first experiences as lackluster and without any real positive appeal or value. Snow yes, but certainly nothing to bring lasting satisfaction. Patience is the key. As I was little at the time I did not understand what was up the road at a higher and better place. But I learned. Jesus desires for us to reprioritize our main concerns of earth’s temporary things and not be content with just slush. He has so much more for us and truly delights in our squeals of excitement and as we finally dive into His deep and limitless riches by abiding in His root. What a treat ignoring the slush and patiently heading upward to where what He has for us lies in limitless pristine drifts. How He loves to pour out His blessings upon those who love Him and as we patiently head up the highway of life deeper blessings are waiting for us past the mud and slush of temporary things. I want to head up the road. C’mon, let’s go play in the snow.