Sunday, October 24, 2010

Prophecy of Autumn

The seasons, to me, don't just come and go. It would be more accurate to say that they're there and then they're gone. Very rarely do I feel I get to witness a real changing of the seasons - mostly my own fault for allowing myself to be engrossed in other things. Today was different, though; as I was tiring out from my 3-mile jog down the Indian Creek Trail, my mind was at last blank and available to internalize God's creation. Even that, though, isn't entirely accurate. I turned to begin my long walk home. The wind was at my back stabilizing my external body temperature. It was as if God was saying, "Don't be distracted by the frailty of this body; I am doing a new thing for you."

That's when it hit me. The colors of the leaves jumped out at me, screaming, while the cool breeze was scattering them decoratively about the ground. I couldn't help today but stand in awe of our Creator God: less over what He has created; more over what He was creating in that very moment.

Now as I reflect on the literal changing of seasons, I can still hear His voice whispering to me in regards to the figurative changing of seasons in my life (which I know we all experience). "I haven't just come and gone. I'm still here - not watching, not waiting, but working." Just as the wind was moving about me this afternoon, so is He. I am convinced.

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." - Philippians 1:6

Friday, October 15, 2010

Power Ballad Reflections

I must say (and not for the first...or last, time) that I am amazed by how much can change in a year's time. Case in point:

Yesterday evening, as I was relaxing in solitude, I was surprised to hear my neighbor's music as clear as if it were in my own home (or perhaps I shouldn't be surprised between the outdoor walkway and the thin walls in this apartment building) when all of a sudden Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" is cranked to 11. The song is so ridiculous and often used for comic relief in TV shows and movies that I couldn't help but chuckle...and that's when it hit me.


If I were in solitude like this a year ago, it would not have felt relaxing; it probably would have felt lonely as hell. I know this because I in fact was in solitude and lonely as hell. Back then, knowing how easily my emotions are swayed by certain chord progressions, I would have been in tears if that wretched song had begun playing in an ear shot of my living space. Not only this, but as a relationship-oriented individual I felt there was no way out and my future seemed bleak at that point. I didn't know what to do, but I knew I did not want to live the rest of my life like that.


I was so sold on that decision that I was willing to actually put some work into it and follow through. It sure wasn't easy, but in the end I learned (or perhaps "accepted", though the jury's still out on that) that I am functionally an introvert. Though I don't want to be a recluse, I now know I can derive pleasure from these times of solitude...even with a dash of loneliness mixed in. With this also came the realization that...exactly; it was only a realization, not a true change in my personality.


The stronghold of my greatest fear in life was greatly loosened when I chose to let go of what I thought I couldn't live without. Gradually my eyes were opened wider to the reality of who I am because I chose to walk away! I've found more freedom in that than I have in most things.

Isn't this true of all of us? I wonder if this is at least partially what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 8 when he told one of his disciples, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." Jesus is certainly about the business of transforming lives but he doesn't say "work for me"; he says "follow me". Who knows if this unnamed disciple answered that call but surely, for those who did, their eyes were opened to the majesty of God the Father as they deserted the mess in which they were each swept up. Perhaps His motive goes beyond "Do what I do and teach others to also" and more toward "Hey man, this smog is clouding you up; get out of the city for awhile". Perhaps this is also what King Solomon meant when he said, "There's nothing new under the sun; you have to get over the sun". Our senses are so enthralled with whatever tantalizes them that we become deceived in what we believe is real if we don't move away from it. Thankfully God has kept his promise in sending me someone to follow; otherwise I'd have no idea where I was going if I tried to go anywhere else, and I guarantee you I'd be lost as soon as I took my eyes off the road.

Do you desire transformation in your life? Jesus is the way, though whether you're convinced of that or not, I can guarantee you something (or someone) in your life is clouding your vision or, worse yet, flat-out blinding you. The solution is not to come up with a solution; the solution is to walk away. You need this just as much as me, and you'll be just as lost as me if you try and do this on your own.

Stop working. Start following.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I've come to learn that home is far more than a place, an object, or even a "finding" of one's self. They very concept expands far beyond even the most spatial of human understandings. For my purposes, tonight I'm keeping my words on the subject much narrower. Home for me (and hopefully most of us) tends to take on several different lights.

As of very recently, my home has take on new lights in the following ways:

It is when I am dependent on none other but the LORD.
Because it is not limited to a locale, it is temporarily in a country I have yet to travel to (though there are unofficial plans to change that).

Here are some examples of what this might look like for myself:

I am unannounced.
I am fully myself and those that surround me are fully aware.
I am free to be the way I was made.
I choose to be who I was made to be, and thus am fully myself, and fully at home.

Of course, I don't want to skim over the truth that I cannot fully be at home (or fully be any of the preceding things) without fully abiding in Jesus Christ the LORD - surrendering everything I am and everything I have, and making Him not so much first, but IT - because He is Home, and only when I am fully His can I fully be any of these things. When we are home, we are full, and we were created to be full by Him so He alone can fill us.

Now, (only) in light of that statement, I am fully home when I am free to be, and choose to be, who I was made to be. I've been given the grace to receive but a glimpse of how that should look: I am to be a voice to the world. Written. Spoken. Played. Sung.

I say all of this because HE has led me to a place that though in itself is not home, I am as free as I want to be from many of the distractions that have kept me from living in a place of home. So here I am - perhaps more at home than I've ever known. It is up to me, however, based on the power given from on high, how well this works out. Consider this a written re-commitment to blogging, but more importantly, to being a written voice to the world.

Here's to leaving our delusions of bloatedness and arriving home...arriving full.

Now it's your turn to respond. What is your action plan? How do you plan to arrive? Or, for those of you out there who feel you've arrived, we'd be especially interested in your wisdom.