Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Testimony

As the semester finally ends and life slows down from suicidal pace to snail pace, I think it would be misguided of us to look back at this (or any) semester with disdain.
Oh sure, things could have gone better, perhaps. Or maybe things went well? Or average? Regardless of how things went, the important thing (I believe) is to recognize that things went, i.e., they are gone, over, done, finished, closed for the day. Do not underestimate the importance of such a thing.
The assignments you thought were too big, they are done. The papers too monstrous, they are done. The exams too byzantine, they are done. The Dr. J final that loomed like the Shadow of Morgoth, it is finished. On all accounts there is closure, release, freedom.
And to whom does the credit belong for such freedom? You? Don't make me laugh: you were the one who was all panicky in the first place. To whom does credit belong? Your Father in Heaven.
This is not cliche; it is a most often overlooked fact. When the semester (or any trial) that seemed so unbearable is passed through, we should not merely huff and say, "Glad that's over." We should fall on our knees and praise our Father in Heaven: "Not one assignment overdue, not one paper late, not one exam missed." The past is more than pains, my friends; it is testimony.
Treat each passed trial (school semesters or otherwise) as testimony to the awesome presence, power, peace, and love of God in your life. The end of a trial will no longer be a time of disdain for the trial; it will be a time of praise to your Father.
We do not live in this sense of constant awe, we do not live life as though God is ever present in every aspect of our lives. We are (as one Lutheran pastor put it) "functional empiricists," and (as John Eldridge put it) "practical agnostics." We do not truly account for God in our day to day existence. We go through the fire and flood and act like we accomplished something special when all we did the whole time was hang on to the mighty and intimate sovereignty of our Father and screamed like a little girl.
Look back and see the testimony of your Father. Look back with fear and trembling as you realize that the same God who exists in three-persons and spoke all things into being is the same God who, with all His terror and beauty, is intimately connected to your life. Look back, be awed, and fear no more.