Trucks are prohibited...but you are always welcome

Sunday, June 30, 2013

We didn't start the fire

How do you build a fire (properly)? You start with a bundle of small twigs, followed by thin, dry sticks. Then, surround the pile with larger branches and finally the logs. Use tinder and a lighter or flint to start the fire going and watch it grow. I was thinking of how this fire-building is like the sin I find myself battling with. I make small, seemingly insignificant decisions throughout my day; let my mind dwell on this fantasy, watch this movie, listen to this song...etc etc. This is the laying down of small twigs. Then, larger decisions. A small compromise in the wrong direction. A risque conversation. A branch, and another. The surrounding is set up for a mistake, a stumble. Logs. Then, sooner or later comes the spark. The small flame to the perfect setting I've created over days, weeks, months. And the flame that devours is too powerful, burns too bright. It burns because I fed it. It burns because I've nurtured it and prepared for it. I never meant to start a forest fire, yet it rages on. And in the destruction, I look down at the matches in my own hand and am powerless to do a thing. Only I (and God) can prevent this chain of events. No more gathering twigs, and no more playing with fire. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

I feel an adventure coming on

My God is a Ninja

I've struggled with my reckless, unfocused heart for as long as I can remember. My struggle for identity and need for validation was the driving force behind most of my college-age decision making. I know many Christians can pin-point the moment their walk burst into life in the same way we all remember where we were on 9/11, but with mine it didn't happen like an explosion; it happened like a whisper. It happened like the turn of a season, each day one degree warmer until I found the snow replaced by thin, new blades of grass under my feet. I can, however, pinpoint the brokenness that started the reaction. The catalyst, if you will. It took a shattering of self to get me to renounce my own self-reliance. This looked momentarily like a renunciation of my faith as I indulged in what I had previously denied myself. Then, the seasons began to turn. My down-turned face felt a nudge under my chin as He lifted my eyes to Himself. "Look at me". I had, until then, occupied my eyes with my own heart, tinkering with it and trying to fix the un-fixable. But now thoroughly disgusted with its condition, I turned my eyes to Him. This forgetfulness of self and adoration of the Creator started the rotation, the spin of the globe that brought the sun back into view. He changed my season, and all the work I had been striving for before was beginning to be accomplished as I rested. I can't describe the relief of dropping my hands, lifting my eyes, and breathing clean air for the first time in years. I pray He keeps me from taking up the plow once again. And now I see my own heart is still unfinished, but farther along than I could have ever hoped... and I never even realized work was being done. Glorious grace... I bring nothing, I have nothing to offer, and can do nothing on my own. Before I would have used a relationship as a substitute for God and His influence, but now my gratitude and need for Him is so great that I know that won't be the case. His plan is perfect, His timing is perfect, and I find myself swept away in the beauty of it all.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Times, they are a'changing

To be honest, I'd forgotten how much I love this blog.
I suppose as I've nurtured close friendships, I have confided in them all the things I could only express here before. My life looks very much the same, only perhaps enhanced and made sharper. A world seen with old eyes but a new pair of glasses. The blessings have continued, I am blessed through my church and friendships and I bless with my work, music, and fellowship. I suppose the biggest change as of late is a new relationship, very much like the one I'd kept tucked quietly in the back of my life's game-plan. But now the play is in action, and the moves that are so unfamiliar seem to flow seamlessly. It looks, however, different than I thought it would, and God delights me by showing me his wisdom in bringing me someone I may not have believed I wanted, but always needed. And it is better. So, so much better. But more on that later...