Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Trustworthy Guide - I Still Trust You, Lord

Psalms 32:8-9: "The Lord says, “I will teach you the way you should go; I will instruct you and advise you. Don't be stupid like a horse or a mule, which must be controlled with a bit and bridle to make it submit.”

Ouch. Well, ouch to me anyway.

I am more like the latter in my natural state - I require harsher guidance. I require a bit & bridle. Anyone who is honest will admit that he or she is ill-equipped to go through life alone. We, as humans, just are. Everyone wants a spiritual high. Everyone wants to be needed, used, appreciated, special... Everyone wants to be loved. Not everyone wants to put in the work, time, effort, and sweat-quity to be prepared to be special. To prepare to be used, and be able to fill needs. We get a hint of a whisper of what God wants for us, and we want it NOW.

#NewsFlash: Noah built an ark on dry land, having never seen rain and for decades' worth of hand-blistering, back-breaking work. He was made fun of, he was told he was crazy - until the first rain fell on the face of the planet. But how must that have felt? That way embarrasment makes our faces hot and flushed. We sweat and feel awkward and want to hide or leave a situation. You can't leave a project of that magnitude and proportion. And you can't run from God and responsibility. Moses, after learning that his entire life was a lie, leaving everything, and denouncing a life of privilage and comfort, fought his adopted brother, wandered for 40 years, and yet, STILL, never made it to Canaan. Timing, patience - those were the reasons. Elijah, Elisha, Prophets... all alone time, all told to wait. John the Baptist, cousin of Jesus, spent how long alone in a desert? Jesus, being God with skin on, waited 30 years to do something that must follow a natural oder and must follow God's time - not human, nor the flesh, nor Earth's time. Even Jesus went away and spent some alone time in the desert.

What makes us think we are unique, special, and deserve the immediate answer and attention of Almight God? Our all-knowing God created us with a need for His guidance. In our own strength, knowledge, and reasoning power, we are simply not able to figure out how to make the wisest decisions. I am living proof with my history of instant gratification and my need for immediate answers and resolutions. Trust me, though, the Lord’s assuring hand at our shoulder can lead us down right paths to good choices. More than that, the Lord is willing and able to guide us, if we will let Him. It isn’t difficult to fall in step with Him. Acknowledge that you have wandered down paths of life that led to sin and disobedience.

I have friends from all walks of life. Friends from well-to-do privilege and an insulated place high above what many of us realize is a very real, cold, and harsh world. And I friends that would love to even be considered povery level. Friends that know what it is like in the real world with parents that are addicted to meth and that know that "bad things" happen to "good people" and that eating and surviving sometimes involve things we "nice folks" don't want to have to think about. I have friends from every sexuality on the spectrum. Every gender and fluidity of cis-trans-somewhere on a scale. Friends and loved ones from every race, ethnicity, nationality, and every faith... And I love them all dearly. Not for what I think they should be, or if they agree with me. Not for what they would be to me if they choose my faith, or what I believe is true. And how can that be? Because. I choose that. I don't agree with many of them. I don't believe what they beleive and I don't lie, coddle, or pretend to be something or someone I am not - that would be unkind, unfair, and untrue. But I love them. I love them both in and of myself and I love them from my Christian perspective and do wish for them to know what I know, not just in my head, but in my heart. If they never do, I'll still love them. Duh. Why would anyone ever want Christ, the Holy Ghost, or anything to do with being a Christian, if you don't live the tenets of that faith? I've said this before, and I'll repeat it: Being White, Affluent, and Conservative doesn't make you a Christian. Following the Christ, however, does.

But that being said, I know that just beyond our last heartbeat lies eternity. And for me that is a very real and very somber and very sobering thought. I was near there. I was near that place. I have been touched by eternity. I wasn't ready. I wasn't even close to ready. It's not because of what most would assume is sexuality or standards, or TV, or the length of my sleeves, or if I grow a beard. It wasn't because I have had alchohol or smoked a cigarette. It wasn't because of the company I kept, or didn't keep. That's superficial. That's not my heart, nor my salvation point. But know this, God knows, and I wasn't ready. I wasn't a cheater. I wasn't a drug addict. I wasn't even a bad drunk. I didn't lie to work, or loved ones. I didn't purposefully find things to hurt people. I didn't even really want to be "bad." But that's not really the point, either. I "tried." I tried really hard. I worked hard. I made money. I paid my bills and I even tithed. I did lots of the right things. Lots and lots. But I wasn't ready. I wasn't real. I was lukewarm. I wouldn't have been one of those that heard "Well done." I didn't give God water. I didn't feed God. I didn't see that God was cold and clothe and nurture God. I was complacent. I thought that if I worked myself to death to pay a bill, why didn't eveyrone? I judged. Harshly. I thought unkind things, and usually even spoke them. I was superior in my own mind. I was "good enough." I used my talents and blessings on vanity and selfishness. I squandered what could have been years doing the right thing, vs. doing things right. There is a difference in wanting to pray through and be used and on a platform, than realizing that the cross is your only true and real salvation - that death is near and you are not ready. Knowing that death would be the end of something and that the next steps are not ones you want to take. There is a vast difference in knowing that you have wasted time and years and gifts and then been given a true, real, honest second chance - that God doesn't hold a grudge, take your gift away, take your calling away, and take your life for your sin. Even when He should have and would have been well within any right to do so. It's even more humbling when you realize that God will hug you, wipe your eyes, chastise you in Love, and tell you that you still have to do what he told you to do so long ago. That you are still required to submit, love, live, and go forth... Sometimes God is funny. Not, funny "haha."

This entire post will make sense to very few... and that's okay, too. I trust that this level of me being this honest and this "naked" will help whoever it is supposed to help. That’s where our Savior is pointing us, right? Help each other? The days are short? Lean on me? The path may not be clear to our eyes, but Jesus is leading us there with a steady and sure hand, I have to beleive that. Our part is to follow in obedience. I am on a journey. I am learning literally moment by moment. I am restructuring and relearning. And I am praying for trust.

I love y'all.

I Still Trust You, Lord

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