Recently I visited the dentist! I hadn’t been for some time and so decided that it was overdue. With apprehension I turned up to the appointment not knowing what he might say about my teeth… or even worse, not knowing what he may want to drill!
The experience turned out to be a good one because of an unexpected realization.
I realised something while at my appointment, it was more of a reluctant acceptance than it was a new discovery. And, with this realization came a complete change of thinking about life and the day to day activities that I find myself engaging in.
The discovery may appear boring. It may not seem inspiring. However, with some contemplation, I’m sure you will also discover the truth of what I am about to say.
So here it is…
Life is about maintenance!
Nearly every area in life is first begun and then must be maintained. If a task is started and then left the result will be decline in one form or another.
Consider as I did our teeth. As children we’re taught to brush morning and night… to floss daily. When this daily ritual is maintained our teeth remain healthy… when it’s not, our teeth decay!
You can see the same principle everywhere you look.
Start to look for it and you see maintenance everywhere. For example when you buy a new car it’s all shiny and has that new car smell. But over time if you don’t continue to do the necessary maintenance, what once had a lovely aroma now has the stench of last weeks McDonalds!
Relationships are the same. If you stop communicating, stop spending time, and stop investing into relationships eventually you will grow apart from the other person or people.
Faith is no different.
When it comes to our faith and relationship with Jesus, it’s no different.
When Nicodemus came to Jesus as we see in John 3, he asked about the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus response was about ‘rebirth’. He offered new life…. a chance to exchange an un-maintained, entropic life and to start afresh, Gods way.
It doesn’t just happen.
Once this resurrection life is gained through Jesus, it has the need for maintenance. We must partner with the Holy Spirit in His work of ‘re-creation’ in our lives.
If we are to grow in our understanding and intimacy with Christ then we need to actually put some effort into the daily maintenance.
Jesus said “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
It is work, but over the course of life this daily maintenance of our relationships with each other and with Christ will literally change our days.
Maintenance may conceptually be boring, but when applied to our faith life it absolutely changes everything!
Thoughts? How do you maintain your relationships with fellow Christians, non-believers and with Jesus? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.