“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life — your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life — and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” – Romans 12:1-2 The Message
I don’t really love the word embrace, so when I saw that was the Five Minute Friday prompt I decided to see if any scriptures used the word. I happened upon a couple from The Message and landed on this one because it’s one of my favorites. I learned in in the NIV translation, but I’ve long loved the “Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.” part.
Long loved meaning since college at least. I remember because I had it hanging in my dorm room closet door my sophomore year (that would have been 1998-99, for anyone wondering). So much has changed since then – in my circumstances, in my heart, in the world around me.
I’m thankful I’ve given God more of my everyday life since then. I’m grateful I’ve been able to see God showing up faithfully in those everyday moments – the routine ones that would otherwise seem mundane, the hard ones I wish would pass, and all the others in between.
I think back and realize God was working in my life long before I recognized Him. I decided to follow Him in January 1996, when I was a junior in high school and away from my usual surroundings on a Chrysalis weekend. I didn’t know it at the time, but stepping out into an unknown weekend was one of the ways God reached me, who has always been a Type A person yearning to see the next steps before it was time.
And now here I am, two decades removed from high school, not the same person I was then. I’ve been thinking about that lately because my 20th high school reunion is coming up this summer. (Yes, I’m going.) I look at my family of five and am so grateful this is what He’s done for me. But, really, more than anything, I’m glad God rescued me and didn’t let me miss seeing Him as I went about life.
That’s what God does for us. And that’s indeed worth embracing.
I’m happy to be linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday crew again this week. If you’re new to FMF, it’s simple: Kate gives a prompt, and then writers write for five minutes flat and then link up together. Join us!
Anita Ojeda says
I love the Message :). I needed that reminder to not get too well-adjusted. It’s oh, so easy to fall into that trap and forget to embrace what God does for me. Thank you.
I love The Message too. It really brings truth to life sometimes to read it differently. I need the remind not to get too comfortable too. Thanks for being here, Anita!
Kristin, I’m right along with you, “embrace” is not my favorite word, but I loved how you used it to find scripture references. “God changing us is definitely worth embracing”, yes!
Hi, Bonnie – I think “embrace” is overused, maybe that’s why I don’t care for it. I’m not really sure why! 🙂 Thanks for being here.
Jeanne Takenaka says
Kristin, I love the challenge to set each before God. Can I confess that I too often forget, write out my list of to-do’s and put a priority number beside each, and then set about accomplishing them? There have been many days when I didn’t even think to bring that list to ask what His priorities were for me that day. I’m still working on remembering to lay out my thoughts for the day and ask Him to have His way in “my” day. I love how you shared that you’ve seen God in your days because you have learned to do this.
Oh there are plenty of days that I forget and dive right into whatever “needs” to be done. It always goes better when I go to God first. 🙂 I’m always glad to have you here, Jeanne.
Such a lovely reminder to make time for God each day, not because its a task or a chore, but because we want to ’embrace’ Him the way He embraces us! Thanks for these words!
Yes, so true, Marisa! I’m glad you’re here.
annette from A net in Time says
To remember our highest priority is his… sometimes a hard thing to do eh?
Hi, Annette. Yes, indeed, sometimes it’s hard! Thanks for stopping by.
Beautiful. Embracing the mundane in the everyday…reminds be of dear Kara Tippetts. I’m your neighbor this week. Oh and loved last week’s post too. I love that you know Anna. She’s one of my fave people!
Thanks, Tara! Anna is great! It was awesome to spend the weekend with her recently. I’m glad you’re here. xo
Andrew Budek-Schmeisser says
Great essay, Kristin!
When I learned to embrace the life God had given me, rather than the dreams I had imagined I would fulfill, I found a contentment I’d never known.
So true. Hope you’re doing well, Andrew.
Joanne Viola says
Kristin, so funny … I googled as well and only one verse came up and it was different than the one you received. I love how that worked out for us each as the Lord truly knew how to come to each of us – personally and individually. Blessings!
For some reason you comment went to my email spam, BUT I’m glad I’m not the only one who Googled. 🙂
Susan Shipe says
I am a member of the rescued. Love the Message translation of that portion of scripture too.
It’s like we’re a tribe of rescued people – so thankful! xo
Jeannie Prinsen says
That passage from The Message translation is wonderful. Placing our everyday lives before him, and embracing the good things he can do there right in the midst of it — that’s a blessed way to live.
Jeannie (#27 in FMF linkup this week)
Blessed indeed. I wish I could do it well everyday, but we’re all works in progress. Thanks for being here, Jeannie!
Mandy Hughes says
I love that verse! And how cool it sounds read from The Message version. It’s so awesome to look back and see all that God has done for us. Loved this post, Kristin! Have fun at the reunion 🙂
Thank you, Mandy!