Un-Dragon Your Life: A Sermon from the Dawn Treader
- Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Now, at this point in the story, I'm not breathing. I'm sitting there listening to this story and I'm thinking, "That's me. I'm a dragon and I don't know how to un-dragon my life." I remember sitting there praying, "Jesus, if you can un-dragon my life, you can have it."
You see, the dragon represented a monster that the boy had become, but he didn't have the power to un-dragon himself. Only Aslan had the power and grace to un-dragon Eustace, however painful it was. And like Aslan, only Jesus has the power to free us from our demons. If we let him into our hearts, we can overcome darkness and "un-dragon" our own lives, just as Eustace did. Upon this realization, I knew my life would be different from that point on. Some things changed right away, and some took a lot longer. But I can look back and confidently say, that was one of the most important and crucial turning points in my life.
My Wife, My Tattoo
A few months ago, I was talking to one of our staffers, and I was asking him to explain some of the tattoos on his arms that he had designed. As he explained what they meant, he said that this was his testimony, the story of his life and God.
And, in that moment, I knew what I wanted to do. I was inspired. I didn't just want a tattoo. I wanted to tell a story - my story - about how Jesus "un-dragoned" my life and that he can do the same to anyone who asks him.
So, I get home and, in passing, I tell my wife about my tattoo idea. Her first reaction is, "You're having a mid-life crisis," and I say, "Well, at least I'm not going out and buying a sports car or a motorcycle (yet)." So we laugh and change the subject.
However, I could not shake the idea of getting a tattoo out of my head. One day, my son, Jordan, turns me on to this great tattoo artist. I tell him my story and he starts sketching up some ideas.
The next Friday, Robin goes out of town to visit our daughter in Tennessee. While she's away, I decide to do it - I head to the tattoo parlor and, a couple hours later? A ½ sleeve of total awesomeness! When I get home, and I do what any guy would d post it on Facebook so that all of friends can see it and share the wonderful story of Jesus so beautifully displayed on my arm.
Of course, my daughter gets on Facebook, pulls up my page, and shows Robin. The phone rings. It's my wife. She says, "Jim, what are you doing?" She's not mad. She's not crying. She just sounds sad. Why? Because I left her out of a major decision in my life.
And then, she drops the bomb. She brings out the Bible verse! She said, "I thought we were "one flesh" - that my body was your body and your body was my body (1 Corinthians 7). But, you did this without me."
You know what? She was absolutely right. Of course, I feel horrible and almost sick to my stomach for what I did. Robin forgave me, but I realize that I am a step from living my life independently from my wife. I am at a fork, and my wife is on one side.
The lesson here is not "don't get a tattoo." It's about making choices and decisions - in isolation. It's about doing or wanting to do what you want, regardless of what your spouse may think or feel.
See, I have never met anyone who ruined marriage because of one bad decision. It is usually a string of bad decisions - of small steps in the wrong direction. Someone eventually gets fed up. And that person gets fed up because they were heading in different directions for a long time and growing apart. They one living as two instead two living as one.
Listen to what Paul writes to people who have chosen the path of marriage:
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. [1 Corinthians 7: 3-5]
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