“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
For the past few months my husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed spending a few hours each Saturday watching our older two boys (8 and 6) play basketball. As parents, it’s been thrilling to watch how the boys have changed and grown over the past year and to see how their ability levels have advanced. Without a doubt, both boys have made considerable strides from a year ago in regard to both their understanding of the game as well as their skills. While watching our oldest son’s game this past Saturday; however, my husband and I later discussed an observation we had both made.
Throughout the game, our son and his teammates did a tremendous job guarding their opponents. Clearly the need to guard their competitors had been drilled into them. While they took this directive to heart and gave it their all, there were times when it was apparent they were so focused on guarding their opposition, so focused on what was right in front of them, that they had lost site of the larger picture. That in the grand scheme of things basketball is about scoring points while keeping the other team from doing the same. While it was easy to make this observation while watching from the sidelines, how much more difficult is it to see when a similar situation plays out in our lives?
While it can be hard to see when we are in the midst of it, if we are not careful, we can become so focused on surviving the day-to-day grind we lose site of what life is all about: living our lives, our stories, for God’s glory.
You see, in the big picture what really matters is that we follow the example Jesus set and above all glorify God through our lives.
I think often times, knowing how Jesus’ story played out on earth, we assume that is just how it had to be. But consider the picture we see of Jesus prior to his arrest and crucifixion.
In Luke 22, following the last super, and just prior to Jesus’s arrest, we read how He went to the Mount of Olives to pray. While there, we read in verse 42 Jesus said, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
Think about that for a minute. In his humanity, Jesus did not want to go to the cross, He knew the road of incomprehensible suffering before Him and He asked that God take it from Him, but ultimately He prayed that God’s will be done in His life. Above all, Jesus sought to bring God glory through His time on earth. Jesus kept His perspective on the big picture rather than on circumstances and the situation in which He found Himself.
Just as Jesus desired above all else to live a life that glorified the Father, our desire should be to do the same.
So let me ask, how are you living your story for God’s glory today? Are you living your life with a big picture perspective, or getting bogged down in the immediate? What might have to change or be readjusted in your life to better glorify God? I don’t know that will look like for you, but will you purpose to take whatever step is needed?
Don’t let yourself get so fixated on what is right in front of you that you forget to consider the big picture perspective. Live today with the bigger picture in mind. Live your story for God’s glory.