“Here’s the difference between the pragmatists and the Puritans: pragmatists do not have the patience to sink the roots of hospitality and brotherly kindness and authentic love in the deep rock of Romans 6-8. We want to jump straight from justification to the practical application of chapter 12. Just give us a list. Tell us what to do. Fix the problem at the immediate surface level, so it goes away. But the Puritans were different. They looked at the book of Romans and saw that life is built another way. Being a sage, being a Redwood, being unshakable in storm and useful in times of indescribable suffering – that does not come quickly or easily. Romans is not two chapters long. It is 16 chapters long. It does not skip from chapter 5 to 12. It leads us down deep into the roots of godliness, so that when we come up, we are not people with lists, but people with unshakable life and strength and holiness and wisdom and love.” (John Piper, on Romans 6, September 24, 2000)
I am a list maker.
I long to be a sage.
And I don’t want it for me.
I want it so that I can live a life that glorifies Him, that points to Him, that honors Him, that highlights Him. A life that fulfills my reason for being: to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
There is something about tasting mortality.
It is a bitter cup.
But it is a sweet cup, too.
My life is very different than it was three years ago. What is important in my life is very different than three years ago. How I live my life is vastly different than it was three years ago.
I long for that heart of wisdom. Wisdom so that I know how to honor Him with this different life. Wisdom to fully understand and grasp the Gospel. Wisdom so I can love and honor my husband. Wisdom so I can love and parent my children. Wisdom so I can love and respect my parents. Wisdom so I can love and nurture my friendships. Wisdom so I can love and evangelize my neighbors. Wisdom so I will not waste my life but live it fully for Him.
Not so I can be a perfectionist, instead so I can live in the freedom of His perfection.
Not so others can say, “Wow, you’re so wise.” Instead so others can say, “Wow. God is so amazing.”
Not so I can have an unmessy life, instead so others can see the mess and read the Gospel in my life.
Because what’s really important in my life is living for Him. It’s doing all to the glory of God, and I need wisdom to know how to do that.
ALL to the glory of God…
Which means I am digging into the Word, praying through and rethinking a lot of my life, asking not “what is lawful?” but rather “what is beneficial?”
I am rethinking the idleness of Facebook and it’s relational convenience in my life.
I am rethinking the blogs I read. Which ones spur me on to live life more for Him?
I am rethinking the TV and movies I watch. (“I will set NO unclean thing before my eyes.” (Ps. 101:3)
I am rethinking the cynicism and sarcasm and complaining that I speak or read.
I am rethinking the music I listen to.
I am rethinking the books I read.
I am rethinking how I spend my time during the day.
I am rethinking how I talk about my children, my husband, my home.
I am rethinking what my attachments are and which are healthy ones.
I am rethinking how I spend my money.
Yes, I realize the irony of me making a list of what I’m praying over and rethinking. What it boils down to is this:
I am rethinking who my life is about.
Too often I make it all about me.
I long to make it all about Him.
I long for wisdom to know how to live each day in Gospel certainty.
I long for the deep roots of godliness.
I long for wisdom to know how to glorify God in all of my life, because, honestly, those are the times I know the deepest joy. When I know I am living for him I am most content. I ask myself again. Is what I am doing today rooted in what I will gain today? Or is it rooted in the things that will last forever?
I long to be a sage.
And Him alone.