Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Again

"For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and hone, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.  And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land he has given you." - Deuteronomy 8:7-10

I live in a bad land.  Or at least a broken one.  It's not a land like the one described above.  I'm a believer and follower of the LORD, and I know that I'm still live on the wrong side of the Jordan.

My location tempts me towards questions:  Is the bible a book full of empty promises?  Does God hold out "comprehensive human flourishing" (as a friend of mine has put it) as a sort of spiritual carrot to keep our allegiance.  How long must we wait?

I received this text Sunday morning: "Good bye everyone.  I'm dying tonight. I'm going to kill myself."

I ignored it.  Cold I know.  It's from a friend who just on Saturday informed me (somewhat patronizingly) that he would never kill himself, he's not that kind of a personality type, I can find that in any Psychology 101 book...

I was mad.  And I was headed for worship.

Worship was ok, the sermon was good but I was distracted.  I was in another place.  And I think I've been in another place for a while now.

I'm in a place where I simply long for what, even as I type, I hear echoed in the fountain beside me.  Water springing up and trickling over the fountain is for me a tune of tangible worship.  A tune of restorations and abundance.  A tune of comprehensive human flourishing.

I don't think the bible is full of empty promises, though I think it may be right and good to suspect it sometimes.  The brokenness of our world can get so loud, and we can get so damned busy pursuing money, pleasure, power and escape, that we hear the gospel and we think "What in the world, or rather where in the world, would these promises be met?  And furthermore, when?  And don't give me some pat answer."

I got to work today and a colleague in youth ministry was beaming and brimming over with stories about our ministry through the summer.  Thousands of people brought into the kingdom!  Thousands!  Joy and pleasure was written all over this good man's face.

Yet my heart is cold.  Sure, I find it encouraging I guess.  But I don't know these people, I don't know their stories, I don't know how God is meeting their needs, only that they've met God somehow.  Or at least filled out a card saying so.

I believe in a God who keeps his promises, even in blind times like what I'm writing from right now (the weird thing is I'm not feeling particularly depressed).  But I have to.  Like Peter, I know as sure as I know brokenness that there's no where else to go.

I am privileged to.  I haven't forgotten my rights as a child of the king and a brother to royalty.  I haven't forgotten.  These are no empty promises.

One day, much like and unlike today, I will sit by a REAL fountain and know, know fully, what was going on in this aching heart of mine.  Because on that day the ache will only remain as a memory, it will be an ache met, an ache being resolved, a promise fulfilled.  That will be the day I will worship.  It's what I hope and strive for, even in the times I'm running after all the wrong things.

Lord hasten the day.  Especially as it's a Monday.