“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!