Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lessons from the Backyard

I watched the tail-less squirrel today who lives outside my window. He was happily leaping on fallen logs between sleet and freezing raindrops. He was out there living out his purpose among fiery cardinals, squawking blue jays, and ordinary sparrows. He wasn't ashamed of his missing tail at all. He just kept scavenging and running and doing things squirrels do that I don't understand.

We human beings have a blessing and a curse. We have the knowledge of good and evil. We are aware when things are wrong. We can choose to be disconnected from our creator. But we can conversely choose to be intimately connected and in relationship with Him.

Sometimes I want to be like my backyard squirrel--blissfully unaware that I'm not whole and just living the way it always is at the same time. Thankfully, I'm not created to ignore my missing piece nor function obliviously. When I attempt to do that I become as shallow as a squirrel. My humanity dies a little bit.

But when I plunge into the messiness of grasping a relationship with the Divine One who perfectly fits what's missing, who grants purpose, who provides meaning, who allows for all my pushing and fighting and desire for control...that's what it means to know God.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The World, Heaven, and Me

Jesus has been rocking my world in a quiet way lately. I'm not sure how all the pieces will fit together just yet, but humor me in my journey to try to step back a bit and examine what we have so far...

So, Friday night Rob called out of the blue and asked me to share my story. It's been a long time since I've done a complete overview of my life. It had a pretty profound affect on me to remember all of the beauty and pain that's been contained in my life. To be reminded again of God's abiding work in and through me. I was in tears pretty quickly recalling all of it.

He asked me to share it on Sunday night, and I did. The Spirit brought a slightly different message, but it was no less humbling. In our time of music, prayer, and reflection afterwards, I continued my journey of thanksgiving for all that He has done with my obedience and disobedience. He was so very real and present for me that night that it was hard to move out of that place of reverence and get back to the real world just to walk down the street.

Tonight at CSU we continued our journey in Philippians, which is a book I suggested we study together. Last week was the first lesson and it was profound. Tonight contained great discussion that I enjoyed, but it became a therapy/reality check time for me personally.

We were discussing Phil 1:20-23, where Paul talks about his strong desire to be in heaven with Christ, but understands the necessity of living on Earth and doing the work assigned to him. The question was posed: if Christ came up to you and said, "Time to go!" would you just go, or would you hesitate? I was honest and said hesitate. So as a group we pressed into the issues underlying that. The results are thus: I have a list (written and unwritten) of things I want to do before I die that I regard more highly than Christ, I don't see time spent at His feet as more valuable than doing good works for Him, and I struggle with the idea that God doesn't need my help to accomplish His purposes (aka if I go to heaven, He will then be missing out on all the great stuff I can do for Him). What does all this point to??? Selfishness, conceit, and independence. These are all the things that get me in trouble--it's me underneath it all, raw and dirty.

Now that I've identified the problem and its root, what's next? I desire for Christ to be what I desire most, so how does my current state change? This is the hard question and one I'll probably be blogging about since I'm most likely not the only person who is struggling with this. Maybe God will share something that will rock someone else's world too.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Mad Men Melancholy

I have this feeling like I sat around all day and didn't do anything. Which is, for the most part, true. I'm sort of rallying now, but it's 11pm and not the appropriate time to do much other than read, sleep, and be quiet.

This new year was rung in quietly, at home with some of my roommates. This was made necessary by the abundant snow, below-zero windchills and the fact that my car was protesting against said temperatures and refused to start. So I made a decent dinner, hunkered down on the sofa with laptop open and a glass of Malbec nearby. Eventually we watched the Da Vinci Code; made and received various well-wishing phone calls and text messages. A rowdy evening it was not.

So with this unproductive day and homebody New Years Eve I have mixed emotions about 2009. I wasn't rhapsodizing like when the ball dropped us into 2008. This past year has truly lived up to what I felt last New Years, so that leaves me a little concerned about my melancholy towards 2009. But maybe I just watched too many episodes of Mad Men in the last 3 days.

Who would have thought a month ago that I'd be praying to have my routine back?