I took this shot of a Japanese Magnolia downtown today. It is a gray foggy day in DC, and this little flower was blooming on a tree outside the Switzer Building in Southwest.
It reminded me of something I read one time by Thomas Merton. He said something like a tree glorifies God by being a tree; it is what God created it to be. But what about us? We are not as God created us to be. We bear the marks of our forefather's rebellion against the Most High.
How do we glorify God? One answer to that vexing question is to allow Him to live His Life in us. Jesus told His disciples that "apart from me you can do nothing."
This point was brought home to me this week when I read an interview with singer Chris Rice. The interviewer asked him how he lived life on the road as a musician and a minister. He said that he didn't think that being a performer or singer was any different from being a businessman or a doctor or a housewife - you still have to bring glory to God regardless of where you are.
I had the thought "who you are now is who you would be in ministry because it is who you are." That was humbling. How I behave at work - in the godless world of journalism - would be how I would behave in ministry - where I would claim to represent God. Because that's who I am.
Thankfully in the same magazine, there was an article about reflecting the character of Jesus. It used the beatitudes in Matthew 5 as descriptions of the person in whom Christ lives. The first quality? Poor in spirit - in need of a Savior. And the promise? For theirs is the kingdom of God.
In Luke, Jesus read the passage from Isaiah that said he came to bind up the broken hearted; to free captives; to give sight to the blind. In Hebrews it says Jesus came to deliver those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
So there is hope. I am not what I will be; but I have One who will continue the work he began in me. Then I can be a channel of His life to others.
A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all. No man can serve two masters. Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire.