Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Dispirited Spirit

"Take heart my son, your sins are forgiven."  - Jesus in Matthew 9

To be honest, which is a good policy, I was a little depressed after my last post.  You may have noticed I didn't even include a picture, which is a sure sign of my dispirited spirit (what is a "dispirited spirit" you ask?  It sounds like a ghost that's died, so it fits, but really I have no idea).  But that's the way I felt.

This morning I was reminded of the words Jesus gives to a crippled man whose friends have brought him over.  It's interesting that in Matthew (and I need to check it out in the other gospels) the man hasn't done a thing but get carried to Jesus, and he's forgiven, as well as healed.

After a long day at the office yesterday, and my dispirited spirit, I felt like a water-logged and flat soccer-ball (being an avid soccer player, I know exactly what these feel like - they are depressing. It's sort of like kicking a dead frog, just not as gross).  But yesterday as I  trudged out of the office like Eeore, I was greeted not only with a gentle Floridian breeze, a wide spacious vista, a setting sun and birds and all those nature thingies, but with these words, "take heart my son, your sins are forgiven."  It was just what I needed.

I'm reminded of the words David says in Psalm 103, "Bless the Lord oh my soul and forget not all his benefits.  Who forgives all you iniquities..."  I heard a speaker once say that forgiveness is enough for us to be thankful for the rest of our lives.  And with my experience yesterday, as I felt all the weariness and fleshy-world competitiveness wash off me, I felt that.  I felt that God's forgiveness and acceptance was more than enough.

One of the things that's been weighing me down is the way I responded to my daughter Teya this past weekend.  We were FINALLY (why does gathering young children to go to church pose as difficult a challenge as say Ernest Shackleton's desire to cross the South Pole?  His misadventures can be found in the book "Endurance," which I highly recommend if you want to learn how to get to church on time, attempt to cross the South Pole, or learn how to eat penguin for a week while floating on a slab of ice) on our way to church and she threw out this comment, "David, I know how you can put Jesus into your heart."  The words not being couched in my thinking of right theology (which could be a whole post in itself), my knee-jerk reaction was to laugh.   Boy I wish I could take that laugh back.  After my laugh Teya clammed up like a high-security Swiss bank vault and would not share another word, no matter how much I apologized and encouraged her.  I felt like a total jerk, perhaps because I'd just been one.

Another thing that makes me grateful for the forgiveness I felt, is just the difficulty I have with not getting really ticked off at people who disagree with me, belittle me and/or touch my pride. I'd been having a discussion yesterday that had me feeling about a centimeter tall (even standing on my toes), so when I stepped out of the office to be met with a renewed reminder that I am to "take heart" as God's forgiven child I felt a very real, tangible gift.

I'm not made to carry all the weight of life around on my shoulders (my shoulders are sloped which doesn't help anyway).  I'm actually made to live weight free.  And while "weight free life" means death to my old ways of living (as I posted yesterday), it also means authentic and real joy in the knowledge of my forgiven status before the King of the universe.  My heart is quick to forget to be grateful, but I sure was grateful yesterday, as I trudged off to my car.

I'm a forgiven sinner and a child of God, that's the truest thing about me.  That being said I can move on to bigger and better things, like thinking about the one who's forgiven me.

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