“Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.” -Saint Patrick
When thinking about living the Christian life, one has one of two paths to follow. We can choose the path of least resistance where we live their “normal” life, content to include Jesus in it as they choose. We may identify as Christian as long as it doesn’t cause too much hardship. People that choose this path sound spiritual and caring, referring to faith as “my personal private faith” and acknowledge faith as important to family life. But this path misses the mark because it denies Acts 17:28 where Paul declares “in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” God is our whole life, not just part of our life.
This leads to the second path, connected to Patrick’s saying. We must choose the path that immerses ourselves in God. It is a path where we are led by God. As it says in Romans 8:14,”As many are lead by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” This is the path of the saints that followed God, the path that led to where God called them to. We can read the story of Abraham being called to a land that God would lead him to. His first step was to trust God and begin to move into the unknown. But the thing we must remember about the unknown is that it is only unknown to us; God knows where He wants us. It is a place of blessing both for us and those around us.
What will we ultimately decide? Will be decide to “play it safe” and choose the easy path of self-fulfillment, the path of what makes me feel good, look good, and materially successful? Or will we launch out and declare like Paul in Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is Christ”? We cannot afford another year of walking the fence. This is the year of decision. Let us choose the right path, a path that rejects self centered living and embraces a life that God desires for us, a life that may be difficult sometimes but ultimately glorifies God and draws others to Him.
What will we say at the end of our lives? Will we have truly given our lives for the advancement of the Gospel or will we have spent it finding ways to be happy only to discover true happiness and joy are only found in Christ?