Friday, April 1, 2011

I Done Sawed the Sun Rise

"6:15! You've got to be joking Philip."

Nope, this morning I was out on the trails near my house riding around on my mountain bike. Since the sun didn't rise till about 6:45 it was pretty hairy for a while. As I could barely see the trail, I had the death grip going on my handle-bars. But as I always say, "What's life without adventure and the chance that you will go splat into a tree?" It's terrifying, in case you're wondering.

I finally found a spot where I could watch the sunrise, something I've only intentionally done a handful of times, as I am barely human in the mornings (or some would say way too human)and feel that I owe it to humanity to spare it of my presence. I usually shift my head away from the drool on my pillow and go back to sleep.

Unfortunately, this morning as it began to get light, for the longest time (the length of a sunrise, to be precise) I stared off into the west and wondered where the stupid sun was (yet another reason I'm not a scientist).

About the time the sun finally arrived, or at least signs of the sun, since it was behind me [I say "finally" because it was 42 degrees and my sweat was beginning to freeze to my chin (not really but it adds to the drama)], a thought hit me. Imagine that! I don't think I've ever had a though at 6:45 before. It was a personal thought record!

Here's the thought: As I stared up into the sky, I realized just how tiny I was and wondered if when Jesus returns, I'm really going to have to go and meet him in the clouds. The prospect really scares me. I really don't like heights, and wonder if God could arrange for me to go up in a ship or something a little easier to handle.

I have to keep reminding myself that this Jesus-returning-thingy is real stuff. It's not some fairy tale, lovey-dovey, make-me-nauseous, Disney inspired reality. It's real. It's not Disney World's new Harry Potter Land, although that's really, really ridiculously cool too.

Now that I've taken some time to reflect on Psalm 103, a couple of things strike me. God "removes our sins as far as the East is from the West," so apparently he wouldn't look off to the west for the sunrise.

But I want to focus on the idea that God knows our frame and remembers that we are dust, for it is really comforting to me. He knows that we are tiny. He knows that I am afraid of meeting him in the clouds. He knows that the thought makes me want to tinkle in my pants (my four-year old - Teya - would love that I just wrote this!).

"He knows that I am dust"(and liquid).

Today he knows that I'm afraid of many things: I'm afraid of calling people and asking for money. I'm afraid of my own lack of motivation and responsibility. I'm afraid of how I may hurt people today as I'm so selfish.

"He knows that I am dust" (and liquid).

God regards me. He considers me and has compassion on me "as a Father has compassion on his children." As far as those tiny clouds that were lit by the sun rising behind me are above the mud I was standing in and I was made from, so great is his love for me.

As many of you may know, I've struggled with assurance of salvation for a long time. As I take time to meditate on God's love, that fear dissapates. It begins to not even matter. Questions like: "Did I say the right words? Am I really in his will? Do I adhere to a doctrine that saves? Do I think that I'm sinful enough?" begin to slide right off of me, as an assurance of God's great love begins to fill my heart.

That's one reason I think that the Psalmest says that God's love is steadfast. It's sure footing for us and in it we will not fall. This is helful for me on days when I'm scared of going to meet Jesus in the clouds.

I'm sure he'll somehow make it a little less scarry. Maybe, since he remembers that I'm dust, he'll give me a little patch of dust to stand on and levitate it up to him. Who knows? It says in my ESV that God remembers that I'm dust, so I dare you to question me.

Note on picture: That's not me. I was riding in the opposite direction.

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