Saturday, February 26, 2011

To The Point

This will have to be brief because it is time for all of us to go to bed here at the rehab school I work at. I really wanted to check in though because there has been so much going through us of late. Rip tides of emotions have been the norm for the last few weeks. I had to say going through because so much of the time it feels as if I am merely a shade that is permeated by whatever the wind is blowing my way. It doesn't move me from where I stand, but the saturation can verge on unbearable many days. The urge to weep comes over me and then surges away with the realization that I just wanted to use it in an attempt to purge the airborne flotsam.
The coolest things tend to happen during these seasons though, perhaps because of the acute attenuation to every detail of my life that accompanies these times. I cannot help but analyze the gleam and glimmer of every facet. Testing reflections in a dark reflection with night vision goggles is my version of navel gazing. Right in the midst of drawing up close to a particularly peculiar warp of the glass is when I get an elbow to the ribs. Like today when out of nowhere I get a phone call to tell me that someone who should be fully immersed in a more pressing prayer matter informs me that the Father had been pressing my family onto their hearts. "You gotta be kidding me!", was my first thought. The next one, though, washed over like ocean surf on a blazing summer day. Dad is looking out for me. Not only is He looking out for me, but He wants me to know it as well. Simple really, but something I really needed today.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

How Do I Deal With This??

I really hope that this doesn't come across as TMI, but I am struggling with a real case of impotency these days. Not the physical kind, but rather a spiritual case of an inability to perform. In the short term this may be preferable for a man versus the impedance to marital bliss that the anatomical variety may provide, but this must be viewed in the long term. Life rattles down the track far too quickly for one to waste time drinking toasts in the bar car, if you know what I mean. These days I have been spending time in the observation car, and the endless sky above has filled my thoughts.
It can be so easy to distill things down to the moments that pass by us like the debris of an autumn afternoon drifting across the face of a gentle stream, or even the panicked rush of the occasional rapids. These fleeting incidents run like a seamless, endless, meandering movie. There is no intermission from it either, unless we choose to get up from our seat in the middle of the row, stumble past the other perturbed moviegoers, and make our way to the lobby for a respite. C.S. Lewis referred to this in his timeless classic "The Screwtape Letters" where the junior charge of Screwtape is admonished to keep his human from leaving the 'theatre', because if he did then God would find a perfect opportunity to speak into the lost soul. It is in the jarring light of day that we realize that it was all just a distraction.
These days we have taken it to an even deeper level with our ability to fast forward, record, rewind, and even edit, so that the illusion roots itself ever further into the strata of our thoughts. When we step outside of the theater we come back to the reality of our mortal existence, and the creeping fear of its sudden climax washes over us anew. The fear of death that Jesus came to free us from. The eject button at the door of the empty tomb.
From the observation car it can become almost numbing to see it all passing by. To step back from the micro, like an actor walking off the stage while the show rambles on. You look around and wonder why it didn't suddenly freeze frame. Why didn't the other cast members notice? The sense of impotency subtly inches its way into the place that virile confidence once held, because you see the limited effect you have on the production at hand. As your eyes flash from face to face, and set to set you finally notice that the director is looking your way. He knows something. He knows that you don't. Perhaps He will let you in on the secret.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Eyes Front!!!

Reading scripture is a sure way to ground oneself out of any kind of cloudy thinking that may lift right self thoughts off of the firm foundation of Christ. There is no surer cure for breezy thinking than to tip toe through Romans, for example, and smell the fragrant blooms of truth contrasting against the hovering stench of our sin ridden bodies. Each small breeze wafts fresh showers of beauty to those who will not recoil from its all encompassing revelation of self. Like Paul who said
24Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
we have a choice as to what we will do with this knowledge that comes to us from every page of scripture, and every moment in God's presence. We can choose to run, and cry out for every rock of human wit and wisdom to build a barricade between us and heaven. We can plug our noses and cover our eyes so as to walk through scripture as blind men, all the while convincing ourselves that we are in the truth, and feeling very righteous about the whole matter. We may also choose to kneel down in the ambrosial arbor, and allow the juxtaposition to wash over our every thought cleansing the very deepest recesses of our being.
We are sinful; worthy of condemnation every day of our lives, even as we are regenerated by the washing we falter and fail. The folly of claiming any self spawned righteousness that has provoked God to shower us with so numerous blessings of His grace is not only left wriggling under the weight of scripture, but even a superficial self examination. What financial aid will I bring to Warren Buffet? Would I teach Robert DeNiro acting, or Michael Phelps swimming? Would I feign to possess some righteousness of which God was not aware, and thrust it, childishly, before Him in expectation of reward?
The beauty of all of this is that of Christ and His righteousness. The power of it is in our confession of it. The hideous ugliness is produced when we claim it as our own. No wonder Paul exhorted us to keep our eyes fixed on Christ, he saw that all of the little idols of men could capture our wanton gazes and turn us to the pitiful adulation of men rather than the right exaltation of the Lamb of God. Our desire to worship will find a source, and weak as we are it tends to be the thing that fills our eyes and minds at any particular moment. Fortunately, today it was Romans.
Yes, scripture is good!