Tuesday, September 20, 2011
"For not in my bow do I trust... In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever." Psalm 44:6,8
This morning I just don't seem to want to get going. I finally got my rear end firmly planted in Starbucks, and was semi-ready to face a day of fund raising, when a group of about 20 mom's with toddlers scooted in next to me. OK, they didn't scoot. That many moms with "todds" don't scoot anywhere. It's more of a horde invasion.
Somewhere in all the chaos, with Starbuck's cheesy jazz music (turned up to 11 decibels) blowing any semblance of coherent thought out of my brain, I found myself typing away some half-hearted blog entry about my own self-righteous prigishness. Thankfully I had sense enough to move outside, and find a calm, though freezing, environment, where I could write in peace.
So what am I going to address this morning, when my mind feels like an over-soaked spunge, full of toddler yells? I guess I'll write about being stalled in life. But first I'm going to go grab my sweatshirt before I die.
Stalled in life. I've lived in this place. At least I've lived here in my head a lot. To tie it to the verse above, unlike the Psalmist, I've often trusted in my bow. In fact I've drawn it time after time only to find my arrows straying all over the place and my arms turning to jelly (and I won't even mention how bad my wrist hurts because of bad form and sharp stinging string - I remember shooting bows in middle school and finding that the only cure for string slap was some really hissing some really juicy and robust explitives). Then finding my bow to be totally useless I've tried to beat my enemies to death with it, and when all else has failed I've used the string to strangle them. Pretty graphic metaphor eh? I like it.
I've lived much of life paralysed by fear and frustrated by lack of productivity. I've lived the life of viscous self-dependance: When I feel good, I go nuts (like with my bow above) and when I feel bad I brake out the suction cup arrows and despondently stick them to my forhead - pop, pop, pop.
I give up on life pretty easily. Heck, it only takes a 20 mom/toddler horde to break my concentration.
So how does the good news speak into all of this? This tendency that I think is not unique to me to stall out in life. This tendency to go hard in our own strength and then give up.
Is it as simple as boasting in God as the Psalm above talks about? In that Psalm the Kohathites, whoever they were, say that even though they boasted in God, he doesn't go out with their armies and they are forsaken.
They say that they have been "rejected" and "disgraced". They go on a tirade of describing the disgrace they have experienced at God's hand, ending it with "Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are as sheep to be slaughtered."
They scream at God to "Awake... Rise up and come to our help!"
Why do we look to God, rant at God or run from God when life doesn't make sense or go our way? Because deep down, we all know that God is in charge. He's the one to blame either way.
What I find is interesting is how the Coke-ites end the Psalm. "Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love."
They knew something about God that we don't, or don't like to admit, when we're aimlessly swinging our bows around in frustration. They knew that they were loved. And they used a key adjective when talking about God's love. They called it "steadfast".
As the Hebrew word for steadfast is hard to translate and very, very deep, I can thank my little horde for their "Jesus Storybook Bible" that describes it with a "Never Stopping, Never Giving up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love".
This is the kind of love we all hope exists and should know comes from God. And belief and acceptance of it is able to move us out of life's stall-outs. It's what I'm banking on this morning.
If not, it's God's fault anyways, right? Pop, pop, pop...