Inspired by the Gospel according to Luke 14:15-24.
Our son’s first birthday is coming up in a few days, and while planning his party has been fun, it's also been kind of nerve racking. Big events always are. The anxious thoughts go through our heads, “What if nobody shows up? What would that say about me?”
Then, we read this passage, and at least a little perspective has to set in when we take into consideration that even God’s invitations get rejected by those who feel they have better things to do.
It's easy to write about people who reject God's invitation as those people, but the truth is that I am no stranger to that category. Sometimes, God wants to bless me, but I am just so busy with all my oxen.
My metaphorical oxen.
I know I need to spend some time in focused prayer but... I've got all these oxen, you see?
In those moments, I'm just missing it. All of it. And it’s not about some foreboding sense of guilt as if God is throwing a fit because I failed to make Him happy. He's not some needy, emotional diva in the sky. No, we are the ones who are needy in this picture.
Our souls get hangry. And we get lonely. When that happens, God wants to nourish us with the best meal and fellowship possible. That’s what He does. But if we don’t let Him do that, if we refuse His invitations, our souls simply stay hangry and lonely, and we are not our best selves. Just like our children get when they're hungry and refuse to eat, or tired and refuse to sleep. Yep. We're that ridiculously cranky, screaming kid who just needs some nutrients and a good nap.
I recognize that my metaphorical oxen can wait, because there is nothing in the world more important than being right where you want me to be, right when you want me to be there. I realize that it's for my own sake that I need to respond to Your invitations, because Your nourishment is what keeps me alive. Thank You for inviting me in this moment. I bring You my soul, as hangry and tired as it is. Your will be done, Lord. Feed me.