by Joanie Butman
Missed you all last week as I was helping my daughter settle into her new apartment. Part of me was living vicariously through her, enjoying being back in the city, seemingly in the midst of all the action. The actual move couldn’t have gone more smoothly. It was a fraction of the cost of the DIY system my husband ascribed to last year, which was infinitely harder, full of angst, and pricey in more ways than one – like many of my own DIY decisions.
Just as any do-it-yourself house project goes more easily when you have the right tools and experienced assistants, I learned the same logic holds true with relocating. The needed essentials in this case were four guys and a truck! It was so civilized. We didn’t have to lift a thing. We felt like princesses, which of course we are, as daughters of the Most High King. Yet, how many of us truly avail ourselves of the benefits of that position?
I can’t speak for anyone else, but my life is a litany of do-it-yourself decisions gone awry. Had I chosen to claim my royal spiritual inheritance at a younger age, I could have avoided a lot of unnecessary heartache. No, I had to do it my way, which was one long circuitous detour off the path God chose for me – arduous and costly. Blessedly, I eventually found my way back, but not until I got so lost I had no alternative but total surrender. What a novel idea. Once I did that, I surrounded myself with the right people. Sometimes you just need another pair of hands, or another perspective, and it sure helps if they’ve got some working knowledge of the task at hand. I think that’s a good definition of fellowship: Someone who will walk and work alongside you, helping you become a better version of yourself.
I’m sure I’m not alone in my do-it-yourself approach to life. I’ve seen signs in barbershop windows that boast, “We fix home haircuts!” My son was a victim of more than a few of those. Home Depot specializes in DIY advice and instruction. There’s a certain satisfaction in “doing it yourself,” and while that may hold true with home improvements, it’s a dangerous strategy when it comes to life in general, and certainly with spirituality. Why are we so tempted to go it alone when we have the power of God at our disposal? Could it be that at some level we doubt our identity as co-heirs with Christ?
There’s good reason Jesus repeatedly reminds us that He will be with us always. He knows all too well the high cost of fixing spiritual DIY efforts. While He was willing to pay the price to secure our salvation, He won’t necessarily save us from the consequences of our DIY choices. So, if you’re considering relocation or a spiritual move, take my advice. Choose to call in the professionals who will gladly do the heavy lifting for you. As a daughter of the Most High King, don your tiara and discover and revel in the blessings your rich inheritance includes. You don’t have to do it yourself. Jesus is your ever-present helper, always waiting and willing to lighten your load and guide your path.
I will leave you with a brief analogy to ponder this week. It explains the heir concept beautifully.
The musical play Annie contains a wonderful illustration of becoming an heir of God. When Annie moves from the orphanage to the Warbucks Mansion, it’s an incredible change for her. She leaves behind a spiteful, alcoholic caretaker and enters a relationship with a caring father. She goes from having no possessions to having a fortune at her disposal. The hard-knock life is overcome by the brightness of a sunny tomorrow. Seen from a Christian perspective, Annie pictures what being a co-heir with Christ means. “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” (Romans 8:17).*