May 20, 2010

One step, one day at a time.

God never reveals the entirety of his plan. Abraham was only told to go and sacrifice his son, no further information was disclosed. David was told that he was going to become a great king, but I'm sure he had no idea how long it would take to get there. Moses was called to lead the masses out of their slavery and into liberation - did he anticipate the whole freaking sea to part into dry ground? Saul loses his sight, I highly doubt he was thinking; "No problem! In a few days I'll get my sight back and then I'll become the greatest apostle!" If I am going to be completely honest, I loathe the fact that this is how God rolls. Throw me a bone, Padre.

So what are we to do in the midst of the uncomfortable unknown? I could offer you a platter of cheesy responses, and some may even be theologically sound, however when restless confusion eats away at your bones and steals away hours of slumber; the traditional Jeremiah 29:11 dollap of encouragement fails miserably to bring encouragement. Commercial break: And who ever decided this was a good verse to slap on as a band-aid to our modern day blues ? I'm fairly certain the context in which it was spoken was never intended to be used for the sadness we hold over our neighbor's dead kitty. Sorry friends, Jeremiah had a particular audience in mind - and his life was the most depressing of any prophet I've ever read! His own words, given from God, didn't even bring consolation to his weeping! And we're back... 3-2-1. The truth of the matter is this - I don't really know what we are to do, if anything at all, when we find ourselves stuck on the spinny'est (is that a word) cart on this tilt-a-whirl ride otherwise known as life.

But here is what I do know. The Holy Spirit is present, everywhere. When our heads are hung low and our souls are downcast within us, Jesus joins us on the lonely road and listens to our confusion, our lost hopes, our pain, and our excrutiating doubt. He calls us out when we need it and hesitates none at all to say - "Hey you buttheads! (or, "fools"I don't think Luke had it in him to use the term, "butthead"), why are you so faithless? Here, let me show you once again the long scroll of my faithfulness." And at the appointed time, when our hearts are ready and the burning of our hearts cannot be explained, Jesus reveals himself. We see a little bit more, but just enough to give us what we need to continue our walk of abiding obedience.

I know myself well enough to know that if God did decide to show me 27 steps into my future, I'd grap the control ropes of the delapitated buggy I ride in and take off all on my own, leaving the Omniscient one chewing on the dust of my impulsiveness. We may devise magnificent plans for our lives, plans to glorify the Lord, to serve the church, to great and wonderful things in the name of Christ; but ultimately God determines our steps. Our lives are not about us. This is not about me (ugh, owie....). I have no clue what I'm doing or where I'm going. Though in the midst of this awkward tension I beg for humility and the strength required to say 'yes' to Christ, even when I cannot see the ram in the thicket, the dry ground to walk on, or the arc to keep me afloat.

May 1, 2010

Meaningless thoughts....

Life can get pretty chaotic. Finals are creeping up on me, papers on theology, Pauline letters, and a ridiculously crazy man named Ezekiel are overwhelming my world; and finding time to pursue relationships take an undeserved back seat. However, in the midst of this funnel cloud of busyness I am ushered into the spacious world of artistic delights.

As I sit at Caribou Coffee literally sourrounded by 4 walls of books on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I smile at the sight of these musty smelling dust covers and unchain my concentration to flow freely to the tunes of Mumford and Sons. Without warning my toes tap me into a different world. This world is free from deadlines and filled with the souls of late, great theologians inviting me into the history of Christian thought. But it is an invitation not to receive a grade or a stamp of intellectual approval (thank God too, for I'm an artist - not an intellectual) rather it is to experience, to drink in, and to be transformed by the brave thoughts and endevours of our great cloud of witnesses. My life is pretty fantastic. I love that I get to study theology. I love that I am emotionally connected to radical lyrics. And I love that I'm an artist who enjoys the fruits of those with intellectual giftings!