…we look out at people with much on their minds. Even those who mean to listen to us cannot stop their minds from ricocheting between the roast in the oven and the war in Iraq; the painted eggs on the kitchen counter and the threat of bird flu; the maiden aunt in the nursing home, whom they will visit later that afternoon, and what they will do if her dwindling resources run out before she dies.*
Can you relate? That doesn’t even begin to touch the other six days. We have so much going on! 24 hour news. The cell phone is ringing. Check your e-mail. Surf the Internet.
Meanwhile, we may have children. We may have wives or husbands. We may have parents. We have employers. Maybe–we have friends. On and on.
Then I read the conversation of Nicodemus and Jesus in John 3. (I plan to talk about this Sunday morning. How’s that for some encouragment to be present this Sunday? :). Here was this busy, important, religious leader who comes to Jesus at night. He evidently realizes that he is missing something. He’s supposed to be an expert in the law and yet there is something he doesn’t quite get.
Jesus says that "…unless one is "born again" he cannot see the kingdom of God." This can also be translated "born from above." (This is actually the way the New Revised Standard translates it– "born from above." Now I think that is the point.)
In the middle of our busyness, Jesus says, "Wait! What your life really needs is something outside yourself. You need a birth that originates with God." When God goes to work on us, there is an "explosion of life" (that you John Piper) that we experience.
How amazing! A lot of us are so afraid we are going to miss something. A lot of us believe that if we don’t juggle all of these balls in the air, then we are not going to have the good life. What we may be missing, however, is the life that only he one who is "above" can provide.
Maybe the desperation I sense at times should not be over my inability to complete everything. Maybe the desperation I ought to feel is the inability to make my life work on my own.
Just thinking aloud…
(*Barbara Brown Taylor, JFP, Easter 2006, p. 42)