“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”
~ Eric Liddell, Olympian and Christian missionary
The first time I watched “Chariots of Fire” on VHS was back in the eighties. The theme song aired ad nauseam and every piano student played it like it was Beethovan’s 5th. As a kid, my expectations for the flick were low.
Oh well, a movie’s a movie. It was better than watching regular TV.
I was wrong.
When Eric Liddell spoke his famous quote in the film, I heard three words: God, pleasure, me.
God made me for pleasure?
The strangest, most alluring, and jarring combination of thoughts started filling my head. It hasn’t stopped since.
As a high schooler, looking into my future, I tried to figure out what to do with my life. Later, as I was about to graduate from college, I asked the same question. A little over a decade, here I am, not that much further along.
Still. God hasn’t stopped tapping my shoulder about this.
I’m trying to figure out this pleasure thing with God.
For whatever reason, I don’t quite trust it.
Problem solving, feeling guilty, and the safety of self-reliance — these feel more natural.
According to God, these qualities aren’t a part of His plan for me.
Tiny and Not-So-Tiny Choices
Stress is like a pathogen to experiencing God’s pleasure. Everyday, there is a continuous flow of decisions we make — tiny or not-so-tiny choices — to give into pressure or pleasure.
Since we live in an imperfect world, we are susceptible to guilt, insecurities, and stress — even though we were originally made for joy, peace, and rest.
We prefer a formula, check boxes, or some “4 Simple Steps” to find happiness, fulfillment and purpose.
Instead, God points to an unbeaten path with Him, a break from who we were yesterday, and a new way of thinking.
Driven By Pressure or God’s Pleasure?
We can put pressure on ourselves, and force change. The results, though, aren’t long lasting and hold hidden costs, beyond the upfront price.
In contrast, God woos us to experience pleasure from within. It’s the kind of change that is real, when we dare to believe we were created for God’s pleasure — and take new steps to discover what that means.
How would you describe the combination of words: God, pleasure, (fill in your name)?
Do you find it easy to feel God’s pleasure over pressure? Or vice versa?
“Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money
on what is not bread,
and your labor
on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good.
And delight yourself in abundance.“
How can I feel God's pleasure more? I'll be sharing what those new steps are for me. Starting with tomorrow -- Step One. If you are in the middle of renewal and want to share your thoughts on the topic of new steps, write a blog post and share it! Tomorrow, 4/1/10: I'll have McLinky up at the end of the post, and you can submit your url. Join me and all the other bloggers who will be swapping their stories tomorrow. If you don't have a blog, you can still share by commenting.
Photo courtesty of Photobucket.
[ This is an original post to Faith Barista, where Bonnie Gray serves up shots of faith for everyday life. ]