Friday, February 10, 2012

Grasping and Having

Lately, I’ve been considering the idea of “having” and “obtaining.” More aggressive terms could be “seizing” or “grasping.” I am reminded of the phrase Carpe Diem, or “Seize the day” from the movie Dead Poets Society. The phrase actually comes from a Latin poem by the author Horace. The actual phrase goes like this Carpe Diem, quam minimum credula postero, or “Seize the Day, putting as little trust as possible in the future” for the future is unforeseen, and one should scale back our hopes for it and drink one’s wine in the present.[1] I would say our society lives out that motto quite well, maybe not in the sense the quote was used in the Dead Poets Society but certainly from the aspect of giving no thought to tomorrow.

We go through life with little thought of the consequences. We grasp or chase after “the good things in life.” Even much of our election rhetoric has involved “putting the American Dream within reach” with the understanding that more Americans can then achieve that for which we all grasp. For some of us, the recession put a major obstacle in those plans to grasp and obtain.
However, it seems Scripture has a different outlook on this whole attitude. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:19-27 to not worry about storing up treasures on earth where all sorts of bad things can happen to them, but to store them in the kingdom to come where our treasure is beyond all that is corruptible. Most of us don’t do a good job of that. We worry and fret. We grasp and seize only to have the things we have spent so much time and energy obtaining fail us when we are confronted with a crisis of self rather than one of need.

We look for something that will not fail us, something that is always there whenever we need it. We turn to our relationships only to find even they don’t stand up to that test.

Our own love is based on “if”, “when”, or “because” rather than simply loving. In all of our grasping, will we ever learn to strive for the right things?

Sarah Young writes in Jesus Calling: Seeking Peace in His Presence “To receive My peace, you must change your grasping, controlling stance to one of openness and trust. The only thing you can grasp without damaging your soul is My Hand.” Imagine that! The only thing that will not, indeed cannot, ever fail us is the hand of our Savior, the thing easiest to obtain, grasp, seize, have, and strive for because it is the only thing in this life given to us totally and completely as a gift of grace. It is love without the if’s, when’s, or because’s. It is simply Love. Take the hand of the Savior as you walk this day and into the future knowing that when you put your hand in His you put your problems and your future there as well.

Pastor Craig