Monday, February 7, 2011

Forsaking All Others

John and I have our 38th wedding anniversary coming up this Thursday. We found ourselves talking about how we met and how we ended up married. We mentioned the other people we passed up to have each other. You have to know that I did not really even date in High School and did sparingly after because I never met a man I liked better than a book (except John). I mostly read and hung out with Gram & Pop.

Not being much of a dater, I remember my 19th birthday being comic. I had one man from the university home to dinner when a friend from my dorm called to say John was sitting in the nursing school lobby with a gift and another was calling in on the public phone in the dorm because he was on his way up with a little something for my birthday. Three at once. An absolute record for a girl who was not a great beauty.

All three ended up finding out about the others and in the process I discovered my own heart. My heart was John's. There was no room for any other rival.

I came to the same point with Christ. I was a spiritual person and I had begun to experiment with other spiritual experiences. The wisdom of the day in the Age of Aquarius was that all roads led to God. Like the fingers of one hand, all religions were the same.

Christ, like John, will not live with one on the phone and one in the lobby. He will offer His heart but that heart is intolerant of rivals. We all have many opportunities in life. Our lives are defined by the opportunities we walk away from as well as the ones we embrace.

I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:9

As part of a devotional I learned that one of the definitions of "door" in this passage is "opportunity." Embracing Christ has been the defining decision of my life. He was the opportunity I am so glad I did not walk away from. Every good thing in my life originated with that decision. "Forsaking all others," was a vow that predated my walk down the aisle with John. I vowed it to Jesus first. I believe with every fiber of my being that the last 38 years and our upcoming anniversary owe their existence to Christ's influence in our marriage.

Every day for the past almost four decades I have recommitted my love to John. We have a new opportunity every day to recommit to Christ. We have an opportunity to remind ourselves that He loved us the most and said it first. That His love will go the distance and cause growth and increase in our lives. His love will enrich us.

The 10th chapter in John from which our scripture comes spells it out that Christ is no thief. He is the true Shepherd willing to die for those who are His, for us. Maybe today is a good time for us to take an opportunity to embrace Him again. To walk through that Door and declare ourselves His. To renew our vows. To forsake all others and to keep forsaking them.

For no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9

He has prepared something for today.

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