Monday, February 21, 2011

"Hey Jeeeesuuus?"

I'm hesitant to write today. I fear that whatever I write will be somewhat empty and hollow. If you want to quit reading right here or ... here, I'll understand. Thanks for trying.

I've been going on a wicked sort of "fast" recently. Maybe it's not so wicked as it is "Nanny 911 Naughty." It's a fast from God's word. I don't recommend it. It's been one of those weeks where I thought I'd read a little, pray a little and basically go it alone. Far from "Jesus taking the wheel" - I really loathe that song, though it's message is good - I've been white knuckled as I grip my wheel of life. And whenever I need to make a stop, I even install "the club" on my steering wheel just to frustrate Jesus.

I don't know. Why am I so stubborn? As much as I'd like to be reincarnated as a hawk, I fear it's going to be a jack-ass. I don't believe in reincarnation, but it's fun to think about, unless you're depressed: a worm, yeah, I'd come back as a worm if I died today.

But there's hope in this old ESV Study Bible (When I finally become a famous writer they're going to send me a fat check for referring to their book so often. We all know that people who publish Bibles are rolling in dough. But what does rolling in dough have to do with being rich? Is it that they're so rich they waste food? Couldn't they find something more expensive to roll in? And wouldn't it get kind of itchy after a while?). Yes there is hope for this crotchety old soul of mine.

If I would just pick it up. "Pick up and read" are the words that St. Augustine heard and that I need to heed today. If I'd done so, I'd probably have something more interesting to write about, that's for sure.

But God doesn't give up on me when I do "stupi-fasts" - short for stupid-fasts. In fact he uses these times to press into my restless heart that what I'm looking for in the world just won't satisfy. I don't know why I can't seem to learn this easy lesson all at once. Why don't I drop it all and simply follow God with my whole heart? As Melissa reminded me this morning, it's because there's a battle going on, and someone doesn't want me dig in and fight. It's a little spooky when I think about it but true.

So in my indecision or laziness I simply join the enemy in my acquiescence ("That was a big word Philip! Try it in your next game of scrabble!"). Jesus said there's no sitting on the fence. If I'm not for him, I'm against him. And although I know I'm with him, wed to him and bound to him inseparably, I still find a way to smack him on the back of the head and be a royal pain. I can see myself like Jim Carey in "Dumb and Dumber" saying to Jesus, "Jesus, Jesus, you want to know what the most annoying sound in the world is? AAAAAAAANNNNNGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!"

Did Jesus know what he was getting into when he chose me? Was his providence machine having a few glitches that day? No. And in his providence machine I rest my case.

As hard as it is to believe sometimes, because I'm getting to know me better, my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. And since in 1st century Palestine there were no pencils and erasers, where the Lamb's book of life came from, Apostle Peter can't do anything about my name being there. He's tried white-out but that made Jesus real mad.

So where am I going in this dizzy rambling walk through my fields of cotton candy (Why cotton candy? Because I'm the one writing this and I want to walk through fields of cotton candy.) Well, I guess I'm just trying to sink my unbrushed teeth ("Again Philip? You need to get on top of that! The dentist is running out of lectures.") into the Gospel truth that Gospel living is not about performance, but picking myself up after I fall off the metaphorical horse onto my face, dusting myself off and getting back on. Because the only ride worthwhile is the Gospel ride, and I for one need to ride that horse. It's an imperfect metaphor I know, but I'm a rodeo cowboy at heart, even if not in body, brain, bones or courage.


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