I like shortcuts. I like to find quicker ways to get things done, faster ways to get to a location, streamlining my workflow to be more productive and using strategies to increase my successes. So on this snowy morning in Colorado, I was driving to work and seriously considered pulling out into traffic (on slick roads) to save a few seconds and get to work earlier. Then I thought about the likelihood that I’d get in a wreck and that would take me hours to resolve, in my attempt to save a few seconds.
This reminded about some parking tickets I acquired a few years ago, when I was trying to save a few quarters, which ended up costing me heaps more. I saved quarters only to spend multiple twenty dollar bills!
There are times in my life when shortcuts have been helpful and effective. But I also have to admit that many of my shortcuts have costed me greatly and turned into “long cuts.” To this end, I’m very happy to pay the parking meter lots of quarters to avoid the very costly parking ticket. And this morning, I decided to wait a few minutes for the traffic to clear out before turning onto a slick road, arriving to work safe and sound.
Let’s also consider that being close with Jesus can be a combination of shortcuts and “long cuts.” The shortcut for being close with Jesus is the certainty and unchanging nature of His lovingkindess toward us. We can confidently rest in the unchanging truth and reality that Jesus loves us, unqualified, without mitigation, calibration, question or performance. Furthermore, Jesus’ love, which is genuine love, is the essential ingredient for being connected and close with Him. Being secure in Jesus’ love for us is a “shortcut” that doesn’t have the possibility of backfiring like a car wreck or parking ticket.
As for the “long cut” of being close with Jesus, I’d like to suggest that being close and intimate is a journey and maybe even a lifestyle made up of daily disciplines and decisions. In this journey for cultivating a personal relationship with Jesus, we will grow through seasons and stages in our lives that can challenge our intimacy with Him. This means that we might go through experiences in which we question if Jesus is trustworthy. We also might go through seasons where it seems difficult to feel or recognize Jesus. And I suspect that we might have some struggles with feeling close to Jesus during this COVID “adventure.” Let’s consider that being close with Jesus means that we navigate the journey of life, complete with ups and downs, walking alongside Jesus day by day, thinking in terms of “long cuts” and not merely quick shortcuts.
As I finish this blog posted on Thanksgiving week, let’s remember that expressing gratitude can be a helpful ingredient for staying close with Jesus, no matter the shortcut or “long cut.” I say this, not only because of Thanksgiving, but also recognizing that when I express gratitude this lets a person know that I recognize and appreciate them. Consequently, I want to thank you for taking time to read this blog. Thank you also to those of you who have subscribed to my YouTube channel, podcasts, and website; and, thank you to those of you who are following me on social media. Thank you for taking your time to read (or hear) my thoughts; and for your gracious feedback, thoughts, and willingness to grow with me! May your Thanksgiving and Christmas overflow with God’s opulent, deep and steady love!