“Would you tell me, please,” Alice asks the cat, “which way I ought to go from here?”
“Well”, responds the Cheshire Cat, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“Oh, I don’t much care where –“ says Alice.
And the Cheshire Cat responds with this bit of sage wisdom.
”If you don’t care where you are going, then it really doesn’t matter which way you go.”
If you don’t care where you are going, then it really doesn’t matter which way you go. There’s a lot of truth there. But… the opposite of that would certainly be true as well. If you have a specific goal in mind, then when you are on a journey and you come to a crossroad, at that point it matters immensely which direction you choose.
For the Christian, we are all on a journey towards one particular goal, the ultimate glory of God. And if we care at all to end up there, then the daily repeated, seemingly mundane decisions of life are not without consequence. They matter immensely.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that “…whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” In the surrounding context there, he is actually talking about laying aside personal comfort and cultural tradition for the sake of reaching others with the truth of the gospel message.
Here’s what I would like to propose. Many of us as “followers of Jesus” aren’t actually following Jesus. We are far too busy pursuing personal comfort and cultural tradition. And here’s why. As disciples, much like dear Alice, we really haven’t given much thought to where we are supposed to get to. And if we don’t care where we are going, then it truly doesn’t matter which way we go. But if the end goal of the Christian life is the ultimate glory of God, then all those steps taken along the way matter immensely.
What follows are a just a few simple questions to help us think through our pursuit of God’s greater glory in our lives:
What would pursuing God’s greater glory look like…
- in your relationship with Him? Are there any steps you could take to move in the direction of deeper intimacy with God? (A word of wisdom here. One potential step in this area could be to read a book about deepening your relationship with God, maybe something on “Christian living” or a devotional guide perhaps. And those are certainly valid options. I simply ask that we not ignore such normal means of grace as time spent reading the Word of God and dedicated time spent in prayer.) So what steps could help move you forward in this area? When would you take them? Is there anyone you think could help you?
- in your relationship with your family? Are there intentional actions you could pursue with your spouse, your children, your parents, etc. which could lead to God being glorified. Perhaps those are conversations of repentance with your children. Maybe it means sharing the gospel with a sibling. Could it be that you are being called to serve your spouse in a particular area? When specifically could you pursue those actions? Is there anyone you think could help you?
- in your relationship with those your are discipling? First of all, who are you leading? Where are your men (women / children)? We may find it difficult to glorify God while ignoring one of the primary things he tells us to do. Perhaps “step 1” in pursuing God’s greatest glory in this area is to find someone to disciple you. Your church is a great place to start here. At that point it may be good to look around and see where God has given you influence. If you have children, this is where you start. Perhaps there are friends or co-workers that you could pursue with some intentionality. Perhaps your discipleship begins with evangelism. (Yes, we can disciple non-Christians, just as we should certainly be “evangelizing” Christians.) So what steps do you want to take? When could you take those steps towards this goal? Is there anyone you think could help you?
- in the area of life priorities? Are there any areas of your life where a time of more focused attention could lead to God’s greater glory? Maybe your calendar is too full. It is difficult to end up where you want to be when you have fifteen other sources telling you where you should go. Perhaps your finances need some help. Maybe there are aspects of your physical, mental, emotional health that need a period of more focused attention. What specific steps could you take in moving forward? When will you take those steps? Is there anyone you think could help you?