Hi everyone. Rob here. In the book of Deuteronomy we see the Israelites near the end of their 40 year desert sojourn. They are being prepared by Moses for life in the Promised Land. In 30:19-20 he says this:
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now, choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
David and I are part of a Facebook group called The Lazarus Experiment. Feel free to look us up and join us if you wish. It is a 40 day journey from Easter Sunday of choosing life. The idea is to add something to our day that brings life (brilliant: Thanks Ron Benson!). Initially I was quite overwhelmed at the thought of this. Then I realised that I was thinking too big. I was thinking about hikes, holidays, adrenalin-pumping activities and such-like. I was thinking too hard about the ‘doing’ and not enough about the ‘being’.
You see, I’m already alive. Christ died and rose again. I died with him and now I am alive with him: Romans 6 stuff. I imagine that Lazarus would have emerged from the tomb with a new appreciation of the little things of life like colour, birds, Martha’s cooking, children’s laughter and the everyday goodness and provosion of God. I too can carry the same attitude when I realise that I too have emerged from the tomb and have been given new life.
I’ve been practicing thankfulness and worship over the last month or more. When I choose to be thankful for my life and all that it consists of; when I choose to ‘praise God anyway’, then I am living out my ‘aliveness’ in Jesus. Being alive is mostly just a new way of seeing life. We learn to see with the eyes of our heart; we learn to see like Lazarus and, hopefully, like Jesus.
So instead of dreading a long drive home in the car from our recent holiday, I embraced it. I spent the time being thankful for my beautiful country, my creative Creator and even for my children who got bored about halfway home! I am enjoying my children because I’m thankful for them and praise God for their beautiful hearts. I give thanks for my Pilates instructor who is sorting out my dodgy back. I thank God for my wife, Kiley, who models faith to me as she reaches out to our neighbourhood children with love and patience. I thank God for my church and as I do so it helps me to pastor out of love not duty. As I cultivate an attitude of ‘aliveness’ within my heart, it becomes more natural for me to do outward things that cultivate the life within.
You are alive, you have walked out of the tomb. Blink a few times, adjust yourself to the light. This is your new reality. You are alive. Choose life.