So here's an update on what's been going on. I have finished work (last Wednesday was my final day). It was very sobering handing in my keys to the building knowing that I am stepping out of a role that I had been in for so many years. The time at home has been a great blessing. We have been able to start packing furniture and other items to get ready for our move on the 21st. Our kids have responded very well to me being at home and Andrea is loving the help. God has been providing what we need at the right time during this process. First with the step of faith in resigning and getting an offer on our home right after that conversation. Another with God providing a free night's stay for us w/ dinner and breakfast included for after we close on our home. God also provided us a place to rent in San Diego on my final day of work last week. We have had many conversations about Christ, hopefully in some way furthering His kingdom, and have heard many encouraging words from our friends and family.
At this point I want to share scripture and what God is teaching me. "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
Philippians 2: 3-8
I have been learning that I am so selfish. Just a few thoughts here: Do I truly regard others as more important than myself? What would my life look like if I regarded my wife, my neighbor, my friends and enemies as more important than me?
Secondly, how humbling is it to know that God emptied Himself for me? for all of us? even to the point of submitting himself to becoming a human and taking the form of a bond-servant. He became obedient to not only die, but to die in the most painful way...for me...for us. How often have I emptied myself for Him? I know that there have been many times in my life I have emptied myself for work. The feeling of working so many hours or so long and so hard that on my first day off, I am so exhausted all I can do is sleep or take naps because I have just emptied myself for my employer. I know I have emptied myself for sports. The feeling of going out and playing as hard and as fast as I can. There was a saying in high school football, "Leave everything on the field, when the game is over, win or loose, you want to know that you gave it everything you had, and in that there is no shame." In my life and pursuit of Christ, am I emptying myself for Him? Win or loose, when I die, did I leave everything on the field? The crazy thing is, we all know when a football game is going to end, usually in 60 minutes. We don't know when our lives will end, could be tonight, next month, next year, only God knows.
In saying this, I want to encourage and challenge myself and everyone, let's empty ourselves for the sake of His kingdom. Everything else I have emptied myself for is temporary, and gives temporary pleasure, but emptying ourselves for Him gives us something we can take with us when we die. Is there really going to be anything better than to hear the words when we die "well done good and faithful servant, enter in the joy of your Master" instead of "depart from me workers of lawlessness, I never knew you."