Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:29)
Technology may run life efficient, but how does one oil the mechanics of the soul, often given to worry?
We hopped onto the plane and flew some 1800 miles, jumped into the car and drove a further 4 hours, and we landed in a totally different place. Panoramic hills and looming trees, rice terrains and chirping birds, trickling waterfalls and local delicacies – don’t they make for the perfect soul getaway, a superb holiday destination?
In places like these – I felt the dissonance of time, body and soul disagreeing with time’s demands of the more to do and the more to be.
In places like these, time follows a natural cycle, and harvests result after sowing and plowing.
Sometimes to soar higher, we need to exchange momentum and defy gravity. Sometimes to break downward pulls, we need upwards wings to direct worship up and reverse worry down.
“Look at this glass to glass resort!”, I gasped to husband happy, feeling blissful with the chance to bunk with our extended families. Didn’t matter that the 16 of us had to share the bathrooms, or that the hot water run out after the second person showered, or that nobody had that much privacy snoring in open spaces, we had each other, we were happy.
I could watch the kids play all day and not feel bored. See those smiles on their faces and feel mine lighting up too. If play is work to children, could trust in God be work to the heart? JI Packer, famous theologian tweeted that “the way to be truly happy is to be truly human, and the way to be truly human is to be truly godly.” Can I be fully human and be truly godly, be truly godly and fully human?
Could I smile like these kids silly smiled? Giggled like it’s nobody’s business and sing happy enough till the heart burst with life and faith? What would transport me back to this place of play? This carefreeness? This full-bodied trust? This perfect ease? I can do with some of that in a heart prone to worry. I can do some soul goodness giving up this need to be in control as I stir and churn, over plan and ruminate.
Satan, the father of lies, hissed and whispered his famous lies to every overworked soul – that the perfect getaway for the tired soul is to elope from some present reality, and this greener grass conspiracy triumphs when the heart believes that escaping from our daily dramas will provide that real meaning to life.
But this radical wonder of joy and peace happens in an environment of trust and believe. And the way to train the heart to drum to a different beat of music is to learn who the heart can fully believe in. Because to believe is a verb, an action that requires the heart to work towards being fully persuaded in. Of course, it is easier to worry and grasp the air of control, but how thin is the joy that follows.
And this is my work – to believe.
And this is His claim – He gave his life over to death that I can now fully believe, fully live, and fully laugh.