Confession

This former preacher hasn’t prayed in years. Not even at the dinner table. (The kids took that over in my silence.)

The truth is I’ve been angry. This wasn’t what I was sold. I did all the things. Marked all the boxes. Completed all the prerequisites. Walked the journey.

But, like Madonna’s Eva Peron in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, I did not wind up where I intended to be.

And I grew angry and resentful. I grew scared. Did I mishear? Did I make up what I thought was my calling? If I messed that up, could I even really hear God?

So I gave up even trying.

I left the disciplines of scripture reading and prayer. I gave myself over to whatever and wherever I found myself. And I nursed my anger. I withdrew from church. I could not find a place to serve. I gave up even wanting a place.

And I spent years this way.

But today, I prayed. For the first time in years. I don’t really remember how. I’m not sure I ever really knew.

Today, I prayed this simple prayer. Over and over.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

I feel like I can spend a lifetime with this.

Maybe I will.

Advertisements

Let those with eyes

Let them see 

in full bloom

Winter gives way to spring, which bursts forth in vibrant colors all around.  

Life works the same way. It ebbs and flows in seasons. Warm and fun, crisp and muted, cold and unforgiving, then thawed and renewed for warmth and fun.

Wherever you find yourself, keep moving forward. Each season has its wonders and memories. And each season passes. Really, they do.

A popular book insists that winter is coming. True, but so, then, is summer once again.

 

Cost of Winning

As we pay the price of obedience, we can be sure that every unanswered prayer, every short-term loss, plays its part in the long-term certainty of victory in Christ. It’s just that we never realized that winning could sometimes hurt like hell.

  • Pete Greig, God on Mute, p. 172

Whatever you are facing, whatever darkness life brings your way, remember Romans 8:28. The end is already assured. God wins. And so do all on His side.

Engaging the Silence

“Engaging the Silence” by Pete Greig

first
there is
      prayer
and where there is prayer
there are
      questions
and where there are questions
there may be
      silence
but silence may be
more than
      absence
silence
may be presence
      muted
silence
may not be nothing but
      something
to explore
defy accuse
      engage
and
this is
      prayer
and where there is prayer
there may yet be
      miracles

poem found in Pete Greig’s God On Mute, p. 29

 

A Surprise Announcement

I have a news flash for the world.

It will come as a surprise, a shock. You might want to sit down (if you are not already doing so).

Please make sure you are fully prepared before you continue reading. You have been advised.

It occurs to me that a general announcement needs to be made, because it has become glaringly obvious that there is a significant lack of knowledge about this particular announcement. It seems that in the kerfuffle of our modern digital age, with all of its information gathering tools and devices that help us and instill fear in us, this one morsel has been lost, forgotten, and ignored.

You are going to die.

Yes. You.

No, I don’t have access to your webcam, but I am talking to you. You are going to die. It’s going to happen. I cannot tell you how or when, but I know without a doubt that it is true. It may not be today, this year, or this decade. But it is coming.

And there’s nothing you can do to change it. To illustrate:

  • Steve Jobs died, despite his innovative mind and billions of dollars
  • Mother Teresa died, despite her immense sacrifices and care for others
  • Charles Atlas died, despite his efforts at transforming his body
  • Robert Atkins died, his popular Atkins diet not mitigating the inevitable

You cannot change this truth. There is no amount of grass-fed, Kobe beef; organic vegetables; essential oils; exercise; money; social media postings; acupuncture treatments; Paleo/Vegan/Mediterranean/what have you diet; etc. that will change the truth.

My grandfather smoked from his early teenage years. When he started, smoking was a healthy thing. By the end, now-infamous tobacco companies were changing their names to made up words to disassociate from their past. My grandfather was 72 when he died. Of a heart attack, not lung cancer.

Did smoking shorten his life? Well, possibly. Maybe even probably. I’m not a medical doctor, or God, so I don’t really know. I do know this: smoking gave him pleasure. It made his life something that he enjoyed living a little more.

What are the things that you are doing in your life that make life that much more enjoyable to be living? What are you doing only because someone else has scared you into doing it for their own reasons and motivations, because it makes them enjoy life more?

Life is going to end. Something is going to kill you. It might be cancer. It might be pneumonia. It might be a drunk driver. It might be Yellowstone or an asteroid. Perhaps scientists will create a black hole at random and it will swallow the earth in an instant. Perhaps old age will catch up with you. Whatever it is, something will happen and you will die.

It’s not death that matters. It’s what you do with all of the seconds, minutes, days, months, and years you have before it most assuredly comes.