There is a laziness settling in all around us. Cold temperatures have recently dropped down into the 30’s and a chilling sensation has crept in. For the first time all year, the switch has been flipped and the gas fire place produces an inviting warmth throughout the house. Carl and Bee lay lethargic on their beds only feet away from the gas induced flames. Motivation to even move has seeped out of these sleeping dogs and been replaced by comatose state. Carl’s nose begins to twitch and he struggles to open his eyes as I approach.
Usually, Carl is in constant motion but the heat of the fire has sucked all the energy out from him. I hesitate to turn the fire place off and have my dog return to his rambunctious state. He seems so peaceful as he sleeps away the morning hours.
Just watching Carl produces a desire in me to lay on the couch and close my eyes. But I push myself away from this notion and force myself to work. This strong impulse to draw towards the fire and rest becomes harder to resist and my will begins to be tested.
I sometimes wonder how often Jesus must have wanted to rest during his three years of ministry on this earth. What kept him from retreating to be alone except to spend time with his Father? How did he stay motivated to teach the masses, heal the sick, and feed the hungry? And lastly, knowing how he would die, what gave him the motivation to move towards the cross and not away from it?
I believe that the answer can be found in Hebrews 12:2. It states, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
You may ask what the joy is that is stated here. Could he be referring to being back with his father? Or could he be thinking about spending eternity with his followers? I believe it is both. Being in heaven with God and his redeemed motivated him to get up every morning and focus on his eternal mission.
So, I have only one choice this morning. Get up off the couch, turn off the fire place, and focus on heavenly things. As for Carl, he finally got up as well. And as the heat left his body, he transformed back into the active little fellow that I have become to know so well.