Monday, October 11, 2010


Running, running, running. Moving, rushing, charging. Restless, distracted, disconnected. Looking, searching, groping. And always running.

Words like these seem to describe me these days. Everything I run towards to grasp vanishes into mist in my hands.

Temptations beckon as lessons learned are forgotten. I find myself falling and falling again.

As I've written before, for each one of us, the Christian life is impossible. It's full of paradoxes: you must die in order to live, admit defeat in order to win and suffer in order to grow. Argh!!!

It kind of leaves my puny brain bewildered. I often wonder what in the world to do next. I feel like a fish swimming in an ocean of temptation. Even good things ensnare and enslave as I set my hopes on them, and I do it all the time!

Yet somebody is beginning a work on me that I can't explain, and that makes sense if it's God working, as I sense it is. And all my true hope is set on this work. Because otherwise I know that I'm a human time-bomb set to go off, which will not only self-destruct but hurt all of those around me.

I've always cringed and shrunk away from calling myself a miserable wretch. But the truth is I am. I am hell-bent on filling my life with the next fix: be it a cup of coffee, a mountain-bike ride, or even a blog entry. I need something to validate me, someone to say I have worth. Someone to say that everything really is all-right and that I am loved and safe.

However, I want all this and my toys as well. I'm still running. I'm not sure I've admitted defeat when faced with myself. I'm not sure I'm ready to quit old habits.

Am I hard on myself? Absolutely! It's the fuel that keeps me going and keeps me from God. Grace is a painful and audacious thing. To think there is nothing, nothing and more nothing that I bring to the cross kind of kicks your pride in the pants. And my pride wants nothing to do with something I can't control or see. My pride resists grace on instinct.

That's why I'm growing more and more convinced that this whole sanctification thing is a process initiated and fulfilled by a very, very patient and loving heavenly father. My guess is he's not going to take all my supposed lifelines at once. He may or may not choose to enable complete surrender to his good way in this lifetime. And ironicly, for me to contemplate complete surrender short-circuits his process. It's not something I can bring about.

I guess all I've got today is the prayer of faith that has been prayed for centuries, perhaps millenia: "Oh Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner."

And one more thought, that involves running, "I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!" We're all made to run.

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