Friday, February 17, 2012

That "Dang" Perfect Jump

"Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty."  - Proverbs 28:19

The words of this Proverb haunt me whenever I find myself obsessing over my go-to hobby - biking.  It's not exactly a "worthless pursuit," but it can certainly become more about me pursuing self-gratification than about enjoying God.

I wonder why I've been wrestling for so long with taking this particular hobby too far (you're probably sick of me writing about it).  Just this morning I was out there again, attempting the perfect jump and cursing in frustration when I didn't get it.  Poverty was creeping into an activity meant for joy.

If you struggle with obsessive tendencies, as I do, this Proverb probably haunts you as well.  Why do we attempt something over and over until we get it just right, until we feel ok, until that empty and anxious feeling is gone?  I don't know exactly.

My guess is (I heard this somewhere) that we all obsess, even if we haven't been clinically diagnosed with OCD, because of fear.  There could be a host of other reasons.  But for me it's definitely fear.  Fear that God just isn't enough for my day.  Fear that I must achieve satisfaction myself.  Fear that if I turn and rest, my daily life satisfaction won't be given to me from God.

Maybe God has me wrestle with over-doing my hobby just so I will crave the gospel each day.  So that I would see the tension and difficulty of surrender and trust each day.  Perhaps it's not because he wants me to be haunted, just reminded, that he offers more.  And he wants to give me a physical and pictorial opportunity for surrender.

I was listening to a friend describing worship and liturgy to me and he kept using the phrase "And then there's so much more."  I believe that if I turn and "work my land," or work the gospel, I will be forever murmuring "Wow, there is so much more!"

What's at the heart of God's promises will always be "so much more."  For he offers us himself.  We look to creation and man.  But God leads his children into futility, with kindly discipline, so that we will feel the poverty and recognize our need for him.    

It doesn't mean it's fun dag-nab it.

Note on picture: Yes that's a self-portrait, of me enjoying my tiny bike :).

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