Live like today is the first day and the last day of your life. Mark Batterson, The Lion Chaser’s Manifesto, Chase the Lion
Living like this day is the first and the last day of your life definitely takes unswerving determination and laser focus.
I mean, it sounds good.
The line trips off the tongue and is music to the ears.
But, doing it? Really?
How many of us embrace life (and the Lion) with that kind of determination–unswerving, or otherwise?
We live in a time of myriad distractions, and I confess, this is a tall order I’ve never been able to pull off in my own strength.
This brand of “unswerving determination” would seem to require the kind of intense focus that, let’s face it, most of us do not possess.
Just try laying down your iPhone for a week if you think this would be easy. Or better yet, try “fasting” all your media accounts with absolutely no peeking.
Uh-huh, me too!
I believe living with this kind of “purity” in my focus takes a power source from another world.
Jesus is the plumb line for purpose–not perfection
Frankly, I tend to avoid anything that even hints at an attempt at doing stuff with perfection. First, because I know it can’t be done. And second, because it smacks of representing a false face, and I don’t like that kind of junk– especially in Christian contexts.
I believe Jesus was the ONLY One who ever pulled off human perfection, but He didn’t aim for it–He aimed for truth from the heart, authenticity from His followers, and His Father’s will.
He was never surprised by His disciples failures.
And, His compassion for sinners and reprobates–was flat out astounding!
Going “All-In” on determination
So, what do we think Batterson is aiming for here?
Well, I hope this is a challenge, not to doing it perfect, but to going “all-in” in terms of our, “giving our hearts and going all-in on God’s call for each of us.”
I don’t believe it’s perfection of performance God is after, but rather, a heart that is totally yielded, and determined to be so.
With the help of His indwelling Holy Spirit? He knows. This is something that is within everyone’s grasp.
I like the way the Jewish poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen said it,
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
― Leonard Cohen
Perhaps it’s also what he meant when he wrote these lines from his song, Hallelujah about the moral failure of the Psalmist David:
… I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the lord of song
With nothing on my tongue but hallelujah…
God called this man, (the psalmist David) with all of his public and private failings, “A man after my own heart.”
A man after God’s heart? That is so huge!
My loyal determination–His life–in me
If my determination is to not quit, no matter how many times I stumble, slip, or fall?
If I am aiming for an “all-in” yielded heart, not leaning on my own understanding of what success might look like, but longing for His “yes,” and His smile?
Then, my dependence is not in my power, or performance; and I can focus my life instead, to chase the Lion with complete trust and confidence.
My unswerving determination, is to place all hope in Him, knowing He will get me there.
I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back.
He is my plumb line.