Take a walk with me. After a few minutes we step off the path, and quietly watch the people passing by. They’re all moving along so quickly they ignore our smiling hello. Most of them lug backpacks full of stuff they might need for the day. One arm is bent toward their ear with a cell phone at the end of it and the other carries all the things they couldn’t get in their pack. Those with Bluetooth devices carry on a conversation while sipping on a Starbucks and reading their latest text message.
Faster and faster they go, until they reach a fork in the road. There the travelers hurriedly bother themselves with the necessity of returning to the present. Frantically, they make their decision and scurry onward.
“Look at these people,” we remark. “What’s wrong with them? Where are they going in such a hurry? They don’t even take the time to return a smile…they seem so shallow.”
An older man sitting on a bench hears our conversation and laughs. “Would it surprise you to discover that all of these people are Christians?” He explains, “This path is a shortcut from the front door of a Christians-only apartment complex and the bus stop.”
Only then do you admit to yourself that this could be you on most mornings. I’m sure if someone asked us why we’re in such a hurry we would offer some explanation having to do with serving the Lord and the short time we have here on earth.
This is what I call the “machine” view of the Christian life. It’s that “I’m a machine for Jesus” mentality. Doing, going, earning, competing, producing, validating.
The Bible pictures us in a different way:
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
The term “workmanship” means “a thing made;” it is often translated into English as a “poem.” It views everyone saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:9-10) as God’s unique handiwork, His masterpiece!
Machines get things done and wear out.
Masterpieces glorify their Creator forever.
When was the last time you pulled off the “path of doing?” Take off your pack, my friend, have a seat, take a deep breath and tell the Father, “Your Son said that He would carry my burdens. I’m dropping all this stuff—all these cares, all these deadlines, even this stupid cell phone. I’m just going to sit here reflecting your glory for a while and sharing it with these people hurrying down this path. Thanks for reminding me that I am your masterpiece. Forgive me for acting like your machine.”