You could not imagine a more beautiful day here in British Columbia. It’s so beautiful, in fact, we’ve decided to make it a holiday and give it the rather unimaginative name of “BC Day.” The sun is out in full force (a rare thing) and the temperature is soaring to nearly +30oC. I was up early for my jog and decided to go over the Cleveland Dam and into the woods with the many trails twisting and turning around the Capilano river. Oddly, for the first time the heavy metal door was open halfway across the dam with cold metal stairs descending into the darkness of the dam below. I had to take a look. I gazed down into the bowels of the massive dam and in the distance the clear sound of heavy machinery was clunking away. Right in front of me was a sign posted saying, “Construction zone ahead – work in progress.” Hmm, I thought about that as I jogged away and into the beauty of the Pacific Northwest rainforest on the other side of the Dam.
In a sense, all of us are like that massive dam with complicated working parts and more than enough darkness to shroud our best intentions in mystery. Surely each and everyone of us who claim to be following Jesus (or at least trying most days) could be summed up as a work in progress. The church has long had a fancier word to describe it – sanctification. I think back over the years with my love for evangelism and the amazing way that I have witnessed God at work in people’s lives. One of the things I worry is that I did not always make clear enough to new Christians that once the excitement of being saved wanes, it can be easy to feel discouraged at how we slip back into our old lives. The Apostle Paul has been most helpful to me in this…like when he writes in Romans 7: 15, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing that I hate.” This tug of war between our will and God’s will after our “Yes” to God’s gracious invitation to relationship in Jesus Christ is our sanctification. Our growing in grace. I don’t know about you but my experience of obedience to Christ and his gospel has certainly been a tug of war over the years…two steps forward, one step back.
Yes, we are all under construction…we are all a work in progress…but thank God that is the work of God in us and not our own ability or cleverness that wins the day. As I continued jogging this morning through the beauty of God’s creation, I was mindful of the many ways in which God is “at work” in my life…I’m glad to be a work in progress…Great is God’s faithfulness…each and everyday. May you too rejoice this day for what God in Christ is doing in your life through the mystery and majesty of the Holy Spirit….
Ross Lockhart teaches at St. Andrew’s Hall, Vancouver.