Back in the 70’s, when I was in college (okay, the 90’s, but it feels like 30 years ago some times), I had a professor named Dr. Fink. No, really, that was his name. He taught such illustrious subjects such as Preaching 101, Homiletics, and Intro to Theology. Oh yeah, as you can see, it was a laugh riot. We all feared him with the fear only found in 18 year old boys for someone who actually expects them to work. One of his responsibilities was to try to form us into legitimate teachers and speakers. Being 18, we were pretty sure we had it down. It was his job to show us that wasn’t true. It was never a pretty sight.
He also was famous for assigning unbearably long compositions for us. Invariably, someone would ask “How much do we have to write?” His standard reply was never far away. “You need to write all of it.” “But how much is all of it?” some pseudo-industrious soul would inquire. Those of us in the know would cringe at the question, for we knew the pre-ordained answer. “All means all, and that’s all all means.” Then the Fink smile.
So, here I sit years later. I owe most of my teaching ability, what there is, to Dr. Fink. It’s true. He told every single one of us we would say that some day. And for my part, he was a prophet. But I am learning a new meaning of the “all means all” mantra.
I’ve been studying and speaking on pieces of Brad’s series on Colossians on Sunday mornings. One crucial section of chapter 3 discusses how Christ is all and is in all. That short passage is sinking deeper into my being each day. God is challenging me to wrestle with this thought. I, like every other person walking this planet, have areas of life I run to for comfort and seclusion. But they are not healthy. Actually, they’re quite destructive of my soul. They are destructive in the same way that water running over rocks is destructive. They wear small grooves in my soul, that eventually become channels, leaving large portions destroyed and eroded away. But Christ won’t have this. It’s His soul. I turned it over to Him. And He fully expects me to take better care of it. This is what He has been telling me of late.
So, He is pushing me. I don’t need the erosive habits. They haven’t worked in bringing me lasting peace or happiness. They are short term bandaids, and only really succeed in causing more harm. Christ wants to see me healed. So, when I am tempted to run to these, He is reminding me that He is all. All I need. All I want. All I can handle. Jesus means all and that’s all Jesus means. I really, truly don’t need anything beyond Him. The “need” of other distractions is a lie, a smokescreen. He is cleaning house.
So, I guess, my question is, where are you short changing God? Where are you turning to other things to find hope, peace, and happiness that really only He is able to create? Have you got tired of looking and missing it? Maybe it’s time for you to become acquainted with Fink 1:1. All means all, and that’s all all means. Jesus is all. Just a thought.