How Are You Walking (or) Jesus and Bowling?
How are you walking? No, don't tell me one step at a time or with my feet! Really, how are you walking in life. Are you stumbling all around, tripping over your own feet and falling into others who catch you?
I have 6 children and one of the activities that we enjoy doing together from time to time is bowling. We Wii bowl more than we go to the actual bowling lanes but we do hit up the lanes now and again. It's so nice that they are not full of smoke these days...but I digress. When my kids get up to bowl, bumpers come up out of the ground and it keeps their bowls from ending up in the gutter. It is so much more fun to bowl with them with bumpers...why? Because they score points and it is more enjoyable for everyone. You see, bumpers are like boundaries. Boundaries help keep what needs to stay heading in the right direction, in the right direction. When boundaries are present, everyone has more fun in the end.
Romans 8:1-4 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."
We are no longer condemned because of the work of Jesus Christ, not our own work. Our own work ended us up distant and separated from God and it took God himself to remedy the horrific situation. Staying in Jesus is a boundary that we have to establish. When we get outside of Jesus and begin living life on our own, we end up with pain and great hardship....gutter ball.
From time to time my kids will want to take a turn and not use the bumpers. I let them and sometimes they hit pins and other times they bowl one in the gutter. That's kinda like life too. We can ignore the boundary of abiding and staying "in Christ" and sometimes we hit our target or have temporary pleasure but we will certainly end up bowling a decision right down the gutter. Here's the deal (and I never thought I would be drawing a correlation between the Christian life and bowling), even when you bowl a life decision down the gutter, God is gracious and God is forgiving when we come to Him and confess our sins. Do you know what happens? A ball comes back in the ball return and you get another chance. As long as the light is still on in your lane, you will continually be able to bowl!