As people we swing like pendulums, reacting to things which have smacked us in some way - emotionally, physically, spiritually. As the air ‘oomphs’ out of our stomachs and we hit the ground, we get up, dust ourselves off, and choose a course of action in which we’ll prevent the blow the next time and in turn not feel pain. We swing to extremes; extreme opinions, vows to ourselves, extreme lifestyle choices. Our identity becomes what we do not do and will not be, often to protect ourselves.
This past year, the theme of God’s guidance in my life has been a gentle remolding of my heart like a piece of leather-hard clay. I’ve let it dry into shape but it can still be carved. It’s still mailable. Until it’s kilned in the fire and turned into it’s permanent shape, I pray He continues to carve away it ever so carefully. You see, I thought it was the right shape. I let it harden in PRIDE thinking that with all of my haughty theological knowledge, I’d somehow landed on truth, at least enough to take the next step into the world and graciously share my divine light with everyone I met. I was certified to teach English, hoping to burst onto the scene of a non-English speaking people and show them how right my truth was and how wrong they were. Their lack of knowledge needed me!
I wrote this out as intentionally as I could, because even in a guise of humility, I was anything by humble. Even I had coaxed myself into believing that I had somehow ‘arrived’ in a place where I was ready to live on my own, teach and invest in the people I would meet, and show them Christ. Then something beautiful happened. God pulled back the veil from my eyes and showed me a new picture of the Kingdom. I was appalled by how narrow I’d not only seen the world but his work and his love.
God is so gracious to love us where we’re at, take us gentle by the hand, and listen to our grand plans while we walk. We talk and talk and talk, impressing Him with how much we know. We’re little eight-year-old children who feel that we understand the world and we’ve grown up so much. And he listens. Our sweet father hears us and keeps a hold of our hand, listening and waiting for the right time to ask us the question, a single question in which we stop, look into his eyes, and realize we don’t know anything but need to keep holding onto his hand.
I’m a pendulum. I don’t want to react to the world. I don’t want to form my opinions and judgements in reaction to the world and my feelings. I want to have open ears, open eyes, and a soft clay heart. I want to know the Spirit is leading me and has my hand.
For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.1 Corinthians 2:11-13
The Liturgists - Vapor
The impossible and holy, Kings become fools for you, Kingdoms to ruins for you, Vapor finds ground in you, Music finds sound in you.
Soon I will learn to fly
and play the accordion.