Saturday, April 24, 2010

due to be.

Admittedly sometimes doing becomes an idol for me.
You might get a sense from the title of this blog, that the ‘personal effort’ portion of faith is incredibly fundamental to my walk with Christ. After 17 years of figuring I was the epitome of what was known as 'Christian' - by nature of a generally good disposition, mostly moral living and an extra ‘t’ on my last name (a potential indicator of the faith of my ancestors), I came face to face with God, my Creator. I know this moment as a realization of my place, which thrust me to my knees - humbled by the knowledge that if we are to be identified as Christians (followers of Christ), the subsequent requirement is live likewise.
Christ gives real opportunity to follow Him. In response we have the choice – to throw off old ambitions and go after Him, to search hard, seek hard, live through the hard should we be called. There has been a lot of throwing off in the past 6 years – a lot of following Him to who knows where, and learning to trust when things honestly look bleak. For the majority of my Christian walk, through the rough we’ve gone. Yet that, the struggle, began to define me – not God.
So, it was an utter surprise to me when about a year ago He made me aware of another work to be done, being. This phase has been equally, and differently challenging – I am learning to be content in His abundance, to rest, to enjoy, to be clothed in Christ. I needed time to become firmly supplanted in Him before I could be ready for this work, because before I would have taken them for granted. Now His call turns me toward His promise; I am taking my first shaking, uncoordinate steps. I am in a new way realizing the Greatness of His work; one that requires, simultaneously, a more dependent and independent discipline of myself toward this Amazing Love.
I have a task-oriented personality, and there is great satisfaction when I can complete tasks in a timely, neat and efficient manner. This is a good thing for a nurse (and it keeps my homework done and apartment clean!). Professionally, learning to be has lead me into a transition from doing nursing to being a nurse: nursing work takes on deeper meaning as focus shifts from seeking external approval of competence, to trusting in being the nurse I was called to be.
I’ve been filled with such mixture of delightful surprise and sober conviction as I see with fresh eyes His startling beauty – unchecked doing can blind us from realizing the fullness of Him, in circumstance, in places, in ourselves, and in others. I also have discovered, and occasionally act upon, a previously repressed urge to break out dancing in joy of Him … eee!
Praying with you: that we be placed in the lap of the only One worthy of a throne, and delight in the works He has given us to do.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

somehow to live.

Two of my girlfriends awesomely invited me into an ongoing document of quotations over this past summer. I admittedly check it daily. Though (a lot of) space seperates us, these tiny snippets of inspiring words that we share, reveal the shades of truth God is painting through our lives - encouraging each other on the journey. Today, L shared:

“Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening,ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”
- Sir Winston Churchill

Not yet arrived, but with Somewhere to go, Something to do or to see or to know, Someone to draw near, to love, to be loved by, to pursue, to follow.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

the rub.

I think. I write. I say things. I live things. Over the past few years, I have been awakened to a story worth telling and living – one inspired of God.
I enjoy the intricacy of it. I’m honoured to be a part of it.
I take pride in it – and, ah, there’s the rub.
I don’t like my pride. I don’t like admitting that I have it. Railing against my pride, I often wonder if the solution to it is to do away with things things to take pride in – a profession, an education? If I should sequester myself in some abbey, and scrub floors and give away everything I have? Because the moment that words come together in thoughts or in words on a page, is one of my many moments of temptation.
Pride affects everything and every part. My job. My grad studies. My beauty. My story. My relationships. Ironically, I have struggled for a long time with having confidence in myself – I go through a lot of self-loathing in fact, and some Christians (myself included) can get stuck into this mentality that self-loathing is a good thing because it cleanses you of your bad little habits – to cut yourself off on your own strength, showing God how determined you really are. Bad thing is, it can also bolster the hold of pride in your life with an outwardly impressive veneer. Inside you’re still struggling, you’re still weak and an horrid as we all are, but you stifle your own cries to Christ. How utterly pitiful. How utterly less than what we were made for – and yet here, I am a co-conspirator of pride.
I have little confidence because I choose to ignore the gift of Christ to be my strength – instead, very much too often I embrace the tantalizing ‘promises’ of pride. It promises me power to wield, a sense of control over myself in a myriad of ways. The difficulty is this, the pursuit of maintaining one’s pride – it burdens, it destroys, it kills.
Friends, pride has made me nearly dead in so many ways – and, it’s made me introduce death to others too; separation from God. Sin that so easily entangles – though again and again we are reminded by scripture, I suppose pridefully, I am often surprised when I find myself so thick into it and unable to define precisely when I first conceded to it. If pride was frank about it, as it often is in its later stages, I imagine I’d be reviled at its attempt to ensnare me.
So, why continue things outwardly? Especially, why blog about it? Why continue in things that are rewarding to us? Why continue to do things that can so easily transition into nesting grounds of temptation? - Is this not like setting yourself up for disaster? Or like disobeying the direct command to flee from temptation?
In many ways the dealings with our Lord and our sin occur deeply and privately. But, important too is deal with the sin of pride outwardly - the difference is that you call moments of pride out for what they are - you confess, and then, you find yourself in Christ; amidst the chorus of those calling out to and boasting in Christ. Struggling with or against pride only gets me more tangled up - Christ says simply, Come, humble yourself and I give you rest, you get to know me Who is the only worthy and capable of saving and untangling. Just be – you are sinful. I judge, redeem, sanctify, make right, sustain and fill.