What a short year it has been. When it comes to sacrifice of any kind, something as ubiquitous as time always seems exaggerated. Days seem to be endless, tasks appear to take much longer than before, and nightfall (oh, the sweet escape of nightfall) always seem to take 24 hours to come. In recent years, I concluded that anticipation can severely alter one's perception of time. For example: you ever notice how that 6-7 week period from before Thanksgiving to after the New Year always takes FOREVER to come, but then instantly become a memory? Similarly, I used to dread this week every year, because instead of the impending taste of macaroni, greens, yams, corn bread, turkey, ham, et. al, or the mystery of gifts, I knew to look forward to no food, TV or sex for at least 6 days. YAY! (*rolls eyes*)
I, of course, now look at this week very differently. Whereas I won't even attempt to deceive you that fasting is a cakewalk (mmm, cake), I have come to thoroughly enjoy torturing my flesh. I'm not a sadist, but understanding how my flesh, in an almost Venom-like fashion, seeks to reign over my existence, I stand in protest to that. I don't want to be able to do whatever I want to do and still be called a Christian. I realize there are standards, and I will continue to strive to live up to them. Whether or not a person cares to ever fast or consecrate is up to them. Not completing one or both of these is not a hell-worthy trespass, and you can still access Heaven's gate having never voluntarily abstained from food or acquired even a moment of pure sanctification. The problem I have with that logic is what it means about my mindset. I complain about my co-workers, and have done so for many years. I always look in wonder at fully grown and functional adults who do all that they can to get out of being the best possible workers on the job. The excuses are endless, repetitive, and flat out silly, but the behavior is universal. The mantra of these people is simple: I want to do the least amount of work possible, while hoping for the highest benefit. I see the same shame befall some Christians. We know for a fact that there is a God, we know that He walked among us in the person of Jesus Christ, and all this Bible stuff sounds really good from the pulpit! But when it comes to the walk, we rest. I define the "walk" as the "condition of existence in this physical world with a spiritual guide, using secular tools to achieve a divine promise". Proverbs 3:5-6 say to trust in God and acknowledge him in this walk, but seem to have misinterpreted walking as carry me. We forget that we have to put forth effort in all things in order for God to do any work in our lives.
I don't want to get lost in intangibles, so my thought is simply this: do all you can. Doing all you can lets God know that you are willing to put forth the very best effort, and that you can be trusted with greatness. When it hurts, when it is hard, when it is seemingly impossible, and especially, when everyone else tells you that you can't or you shouldn't, go above and beyond.
Just some thoughts on paper.