This week came and went and with it came the creation of a new drone video, granted, this one pales in comparison to the epic masterpiece I created a week ago, nevertheless I am still proud of my work. I present you with the in process installation of a solar farm:
In addition to creating a new video I finally got stuck with a call sign and unfortunately it wasn’t “Skywalker” or “Red 5” or “Rogue Leader” as I had hoped, and yes, I purposely used the term “stuck with.” Wednesday was International Pancake Day and to celebrate IHOP was offering up free short stacks for the entire day. Tuesday I started the conversation with two of my coworkers about this very topic, I wanted to see if anyone wanted to head over there for lunch. During the conversation I mentioned that the only drawback to going to IHOP was that you have to bring your own peanut butter because they do not offer it as an option. IHOP is a BYOPB establishment. The curious look I got from my coworker immediately prompted the other to go, “Ok Skippy.” Then then lightbulb went off, “Skippy, that’s your call sign.” Thus I have been dubbed, Skippy, but whenever anyone asks I immediately reply, “That’s Admiral Skippy to you.”
As you can see in the picture above, my eldest has developed a certain fondness for hats and as such has mastered the hobo look. At a certain point I guess it becomes my duty as a father to teach him how to ride the rails and cook beans in a can over the fire.
As I was reading Scripture this week I came across Ephesians 3:17-19, a set of verses that one of my recent pastors had taught on, and it was a lesson that had stuck in my mind because it was a completely different aspect of a battle that I have waged within my own being for a number of years. The passage says:
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Paul is praying for the Ephesians, praying that they would have the power to understand the magnitude of God’s love. Why? So that they would be filled with the presence of God, absent this they could never possibly hope to experience this fullness. So why would Paul pray this? Shouldn’t we all have this understanding of the depth of God’s love? This is where it gets interesting because the answer is a resounding no. On our own we are simply not capable of understanding the infinite capacity of the love of Christ. How could we? We are finite beings attempting to grasp an infinite concept so we resort to praying that God would instill within us that power, for the very God that showers us with His infinite love is also capable of granting us an understanding of the extent of that love.
This was such a fascinating concept to me because for so long I have approached it from another angle and, to be perfectly honest, felt like I was one of the few fighting the battle I was. I was approaching this issue from the view of Luke 7:47 “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” You see, I had a very sheltered childhood; I was spared much of the struggles growing up that so many of us face. I did not face addictions with drugs or alcohol; I did not go through a rebellious phase in my teens (though my mother would probably disagree with this); I did not commit murder or steal. In essence, I was a pretty good person, so when I was saved early in seventh grade it was as if God hadn’t really done all that much for me; I was pretty much there on my own. I didn’t have to be saved from all that much; God did not have to spend too much effort forgiving me. Obviously this could not be further from the truth, yet while I know in my head that I was every bit as much of a wretch as the guy sitting on death row, this is not a truth that is as readily accepted within my heart. I was the man who had been forgiven little and as a result only loved little. Because I have so much difficulty magnitude of my own sin I also have a great deal understanding the magnitude of God’s great love and my own love for him suffers.
The reason the Ephesians passage is so encouraging is because it opened my eyes to the fact that this battle is not unique, in fact, it is one that nearly every follower of Christ wages. Without the power of God instilling within us a greater capacity for understanding we simply will never realize the fullness of God’s love and as a result will never love Him to the fullness of our own abilities. Realistically, the battle is still the same; even my prayers have not significantly changed. “God, please change my heart; grant me a greater comprehension into the blackness of my own soul absent your saving grace.” My capacity for love towards Him is in direct correlation to my recognition of the depth of my own sin and subsequently, how much I was forgiven. What has changed is the realization that this is not something I should naturally have, rather it is something that is gained through discipline and maturity. Of course, this is not to say that some do not naturally have a greater capacity for this understanding than others, merely that we each have the responsibility to recognize our own lack and to seek God to fill it.