Circles

There is this perpetual need for me to run in circles. It seems I was born doing so. I run and run and run as fast as my little legs will carry me, but I always end up where I started. I cycle through life hoping I’m gaining wisdom, certain I’m gaining more baggage. Changes come of course, but never those changes that really matter. The changes that yield me, bind me to His unchanging will. I face the volcanoes we call trials down here with desperate need of self. I hyper focus on the problem entreating the Big Guy in the sky to swoop down and save. Crisis averted I wade back out in my own little row boat of self-righteousness and start fishing in the stagnant waters of sin.

There is a clear reason that the book of Hosea or the parable of the Prodigal Son strike me so profoundly. I’ve been both the Prodigal & the son that stayed. The son that stayed is bitter and frustrated and stale in his ‘goodness’. The Prodigal lives full throttle, pushing the envelope, dramatic at every turn, living life for satisfaction. Both boys were self-absorbed. You read where the Father even tells the son that stayed that all of what the Father had was his, but the son that stayed just stewed over the fact that the Father was searching for the good for nothing son that left.

Do I count the cost? Do I really understand what it means to pick up my cross for Him everyday? More importantly, do I really care? I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t really care. I say I care, oh yes! I mean I don’t want people to get the wrong impression of me. I don’t want people to think I’m not a ‘good’ Christian. Gotta keep those Christian Tap Shoes all polished & ready for the show, but my actions, my real actions, those things I do in the cover of night…well, they show the true underbelly of the character I am. The prayers I pray. The things I want. The things I think or thought would bring me some happiness. I don’t want to try. I don’t want to sacrifice. I think I understand the cost, but like a spoiled child I stick my tongue out at the Savior & spit at Him. I spit in His face. I spit at His love & sacrifice. If that weren’t enough I plug my ears and sing real loud so I don’t have to hear His voice.

I see people who are in the fight. I see people laying it down every single day. Going to the Andrew Peterson concert was extremely hard for me. I saw a man after God’s own heart, sharing not only truth, but his soul with us - the anguish and darkness that he felt being renewed and changed by the hope of Christ. I got very emotional. I got kind of angry. I got even more resigned to run, to hide, to wither.

I’m not producing fruit. I’m not showing the love of Christ. I don’t even really want Him to love on me right now. I guess I could say it is because I think I don’t deserve it, but honestly…if I was real & proper honest it’s because He won’t let me have my way. It’s because He isn’t meeting my demands. It’s because I like the safety and comfort of the blackness. Wow, admitting that to myself sickens me. Yet, it is the undeniable truth.

I’m 30 years old. I have been a Christian now for 18 years. I have been in church for 30 years 9 months. What do I have to show for it?

I remember clearly the day God showed me the vision of the hillside as the sun was just kissing the horizon. I remember weeping when He said, “this is what awaits you!” I also clearly remember the horizon fading in the distance as my back turned towards the light and I faced the darkness again, heading in my perpetual circle, my little lamp left under the wild oak where just an hour ago I had shared breakfast with the Savior.

I think about the Chronicles of Narnia. There are two men that I would love to meet if they were still alive and they are: AW Tozer & Mr. CS Lewis. Narnia was a world I dreamed of. It’s like reading or, for me, watching the Lord of the Rings. You believe you are a “Daughter of Kings”…you believe Christ has an amazing fight that you are meant to be a part of. The whole point of the LOTR is that the good guys are pushing and pushing against the darkness. Taking their little lamps of hope & pushing against this great blackness that is probably going to swallow them up, but they press on because they believe that there is hope in the darkest of night.

I digress…back to Narnia. Narnia was a world I had dreamed of. My sister, Michelle, pointed out to me that I could easily live in another world. I truly could. I feel out of place here (don’t we all, aren’t we all meant for another world). My thoughts and my actions are foreign to most. I think just a little left of center. I’m odd. I love it.

Again, I digress. I had not read the Narnia series when I was a child. Reading them as an adult was a far richer experience. I was lost in this fast rich world. I was a child again sitting on my Father’s knee. Realizing Christ was not safe, but good. He asked a lot of me. He asked things of me that I didn’t understand and that cost me a lot, but He was good…He was wonderful…he was in love with me.

In the “Magician’s Nephew” when Aslan sings the world into existence I about wanted to jump into the book. Just to catch a glimpse of that haunting melody that brought forth all creation in this magical world. Then, the entire last book, “The Last Battle”…if you have never REALLY taken the time to read these books I encourage you to do so.

When I was at the Andrew Peterson concert he had mentioned the Chronicles of Narnia. It was there that I was struck with something I never thought of before. One of my most favorite parts in the story is when Aslan plays on the hillside with Lucy & Susan. It fills me with such JOY that He would do that. However, when I look at the circumstances surrounding the time He played with them. Aslan has just died for the sins of Edmund (don’t you find it beautiful that CS Lewis wrote Aslan dying for the sins of one person, because in the end Christ did that, He died for you, NO ONE ELSE…just you…you’re the first picture in His wallet…He brags about you to the angels…He has an amazing story to tell about you.), He has come back to life, meanwhile Peter & Edmund are mounting a huge battle against the White Witch, there is great danger, great urgency, great need for Aslan to come in and save the day. But, if we look at what He does (and may I point out He understands the urgency needed, He understands the cost, the risk, the need for Him)…He plays with Lucy & Susan…

“Oh, children,” said the Lion, “I feel my strength coming back to me. Oh, children, catch me if you can!” He stood for a second, his eyes very bright, his limbs quivering, lashing himself with his tail. Then he made a leap high over their heads and landed on the other side of the Table. Laughing, though she didn’t know why, Lucy scrambled over it to reach him. Aslan leaped again. A mad chase began. Round and round the hilltop he led them, now hopelessly out of their reach, now letting them almost catch his tail, now diving between them, now tossing them in the air with his huge and beautifully velveted paws and catching them again, and now stopping unexpectedly so that all three of them rolled over together in a happy laughing heap of fur and arms and legs. It was such a romp as no one had ever had except in Narnia; and whether it was more like playing with a thunderstorm or playing with a kitten Lucy could never make up her mind. And the funny thing was that when all three finally lay together panting in the sun the girls no longer felt in the least tired or hungry or thirsty.

“And now,” said Aslan presently, “to business. I feel I am going to roar…

The Lion the Witch & The Wardrobe
CS Lewis
P. 163-164

I just have to stand in awe of God sometimes. He knows that we have great trials. He knows that this world is a battle. We live on the battlefield with are armor always on. We are pushing and fighting through sorrow, suffering, attacks from the evil one. We face death each and every day of our lives. However, our loving Father desires to give us the keys to the Kingdom. He desires to give us JOY! He desires to give us life.

28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11: 28-30

Now a “yoke” & a “burden” don’t sound like pleasant things. This road will not be easy! If I would just realize that my desire leads to death & His leads to life! What a wonderful horrible overwhelmingly beautiful journey we are on.

If you care or have time read my story, “A Walk”…it is related to my circles of life!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Aslan

His People: Zacharias

Living in a Broken Dream