16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.(Rom 8)
Mutuku stretched out his hands as he suddenly rose from his desk realizing he was almost alone in the office. They had had a long meeting where he had reported on the progress of the project he had been in charge of; which was largely going on as planned. The meeting had stretched beyond the envisioned two hours as different people sought to verify the statistics he was presenting, and that is how he ended up having a late lunch. When he had come back to the office, he succumbed to the demand of a full stomach and drifted into a light nap.
It was as in this half asleep state that he contrasted the events of the last one year with those of the rest of his life since he was a young child. Going back to his early years, he remembered how he had gone to Sunday school and been taught to be a good boy. At the age of fourteen, he responded to an invitation in a school evangelistic meeting and given his life to Jesus. After that he had committed his life to living the best of life he could.
He had played by the rules both at home and school, which had worked very well for him as he was a favorite of his teachers and an envy of his peers. From his performance in school and all the way through college, it was obvious he was going to make a good life for himself , and he truly did not disappoint when he got into the job market.
On the flip side however, Mutuku had some misgivings about his life that he had not shared with anyone. With all his successes in life, he did not feel like he was good enough, that he had accomplished as much as he’d have wanted, or that would please God. That feeling of inadequacy led him from church to church seeking the knowledge of God that would enable him to please Him enough.
In all the five church congregations he had been part of, he incidentally had found himself rising to the place of various responsibilities by virtue of his diligence. From the outside he seemed fine and doing well, but he was dying from the inside, because of the pressure to maintain the image of one who has every thing in the right order .His life had become like a clay pot that was suspended and he needed to support it, and he knew if he let go it would crash into many pieces that he could not reassemble back.
Ironically, the fact that he looked ‘with it’ on the outside mostly worked against him, as more people around him even had more expectation of him, in effect making the ‘pot’ even more heavier/laborious to hold in place. It had taken Mutuku’s wandering mind to realize that even though the laborious life had become the norm in his life, the last couple of months had been significantly different. He could not exactly put a finger on the exact time that the shift had occurred, but there was a definite change.
The Different Life:
In Mutuku’s reflections he observed the recent changes in his life evidenced by not only his experiences, but also the comments of some people around him. “Mutuku, do you know you have changed?”, one of his colleague had asked him after a potentially explosive conversation the previous week over work done poorly and delayed in delivery by one of the people he had been supervising in a project under him. Instead of his ‘no nonsense’ usual stern way of dealing with project team, he had sought to know why the usually efficient worker had done so dismally this time. It was upon asking that he’d learn later that she had had a sick child that week, the same week the husband had deserted her for another woman. Mutuku’s wife at home had also commented that he had become kinder to his children and no longer shouted at them.
In his personal life, he noted that he was no longer under pressure of circumstances. He was calm under pressure, and seemed no longer hurried in anything, and most importantly in his time of reading the scriptures and in prayer. While he had had a lifetime of daily devotion, it had become a religious activity to the extent that he would either feel guilty or hurry through whenever he missed a day. Now he was having a most relaxed time of meditation, reflection and communion with his Father.
What had happened to Mutuku?:
Dear reader, it is at this juncture I share the moral of Mukuku’s story. Many of us can identify with Mutuku’s life to some degree because we all start our life journey thinking that our works are the ones that count for acceptance and a life that is pleasing to God. While there is a lot that accrues to a life that is lived according to the rules, there is yet more when we count all that is gain apart from Christ as ‘dung’ compared to that which is promised in Christ.
“20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.[j] What do I still lack? 21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”” (Matt 19)
The change in Mutuku’s case, had been different from what people around him had thought, which was the loss of his mother exactly an year before. Most people especially those in the office did not know that there was a crisis where the family estate was concerned, with every of his siblings wanting to have the best share of his parent’s property. It was as he was wondering what part of the property he’d claim, that he started hearing a statement;,
“I am your inheritance.“
At that time he did not even know that statement as part of scripture, but somehow he knew it was God speaking to him. He soon did the unthinkable and disinherited himself from his parent’s property to the surprise of all – including himself. Just to make sure that he was serious, and not just making an empty threat, his siblings asked him to sign on paper that he would not claim anything. He went ahead and put it in writing and signed it.
That day as he bent his head on that desk, he realized how in more than one way, the statement that had led to his decision one year before had taken real meaning with practical outworking of the same. He observed that he no longer held anything worldly too dearly to allow it to stress him up or burden his life. He held everything loosely, apart from that one treasure, the Lord his inheritance.
Like Mutuku, we can all get to that place where the Lord is our inheritance. The place where we cease from our labors and enter Christ finished work, the place of rest. That is the place of knowing no one or anything according to the flesh, for the flesh profits nothing while the spirit gives life. It is resurrection ground where all things have become new.
Beloved, there remains a place of rest, let us enter it.