Time on my "Happy Place Patio" this a.m. before the world woke up and the day went into full gear. Morning doves singing, trees whispering, warm breeze blowing by, and Ryan's Bible. I haven't looked through it in a while but as I opened it this morning the pages still carried the aroma of him. What a blessing it has been to still have his aroma lingering; the kind you can smell and the spiritual and character aroma. Yes, I still get that grip in my stomach when I smell him and tears may form, but I never want to lose it.
As I page through his bible and smell his aroma I also get a very clear reminder of the things that were important to him as he developed his spiritual and character aroma by looking at what he underlined throughout his bible. It is as if he were journaling.
"The very credentials people are waving around as something special, I'm tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn't want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God's righteousness.
I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.
I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've go my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward--to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back."