Friday, March 26, 2010


“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”
-James Arthur Baldwin

“Be still, and know that I am God”
-God (Psalm 46:10)

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
-Elijah and God (1 King 19: 11-13)

So lets unpack this a bit...'love takes off the masks'-even the ones we all love to wear on a day to day basis? Can it be true? I hope so...because love doesn't leave a person unchanged, it leaves them transformed (of course, sometimes it happens after eating a big slice of 'humble pie'). I could've choosen a number of passages-like the Prodigical Son, but decided not to. Instead, I decided to take an old testament approach. Afterall, Jesus wasn't preaching anything new-he was merely calling people out on their level of commitment and true love.
Take for example the story of the woman who was caught in adultery...the religious leaders brought a woman to Him demanding an answer concerning what the 'law of Moses' says about adultery. Of course, they knew well and good what it says and they were trying to 'trap' Jesus-confound Him to the extent He might say something that was against the law and use His own words against Him. However, their one-tracked minds forgot their true feed God's sheep. What Jesus actually says really calls them out...'let he who is without sin throw the first stone'.
I think the interesting thing here to point out is that this happens still today. Maybe not in the same dramatic fashion for all to see, but we've nipped at our friends and family members-quick to point out their mistakes, even if they're just trying to hold you accountable. I think today we have lost our focus...for many reasons, but I'll just throw this 'bone' out there to chew on: are you so unhappy with yourself that you would rather ruin or sabatoge a relationship?
In previous blogs I have mentioned the fact that we're too busy-not just for others, but for God and our relationships have suffered-especially our relationship with our creator. If we truly love God, our family, and our friends...we wouldn't wear a mask at all. We wouldn't feel the need to wear one at all-not in the work place, at school, and especially at home or when we gather for worship.
We try too hard to convince everyone we're on the 'right track' often sacrificing our own integrety to gain that which isn't really all that attainable anyway-acceptance, true acceptance. Not acceptance for who we claim to be, but for who we really are at our core without any shame or 'front'. The typical teenager is in constant denial about 'self'-pushing the envelope between what they know is right and what is cool-and what will help them attain a certain level of security.
But honestly, when was the last time you were still? When was the last time you slowed down enough to appreciate what you have and appreciate those around you? I think too many people are addicted to the 'drug' of busyness-I mean that way we don't have to deal with disappoint or failure for too long, we can sweep it under the rug and just press on. The unfortunate thing about that line of thinking is that it always manages to catch up to you.
So I ask you again...are you that unhappy? Do you know that God has your back? there a  difference between knowing and believing? I think there is and I also think it has become way too easy to say that we know God and that it has become much harder to actually say or mean that we believe in God.
I mean do you and I honestly believe that God is bigger than our struggles of acceptance concerning ourselves and others? Are we only interested in having a clear conscience-where God forgives our sin, but were not really interested in working on cutting that sin-whatever that is, out of your life? *It could be sex, alcohol, drugs, video games, pornography, and sometimes...ego.
In a book called 'A Love Worth Giving' by Max Lucado, there's a story or a 'scenerio' given about God wanting us to slow down. Max suggests that perhaps the reason you're sick at home with the flu is so that you can pick up your Bible and read or maybe even talk to Him. Perhaps God trys to get our attention through minor set backs to really help us reassess and realign our lives. I mean most people can only think about getting better so that they can go back to work, school, or practice-reconnection with our creator is usually the last thing on our minds.
I think it's possible...I mean look at Elijah. He was totally missing it-he was missing God. Most of us would think God is in the midst of the big and great things in our lives-which isn't to suggest He isn't, but I do think that most of us look for Him in the wrong places from time to time (whether it be at work, at school, or even among family). God might be in a whisper and you and I need to be careful not to miss Him.
So here's the challenge: Identify your 'false sense of securities'-are they rooted in insecurities? Once you've done that, prayerfully and honestly ask God to help you work through this. It won't be easy, you might need some help-prayerfully consider who you might ask to help you with your burden(s) or secrets that have been keeping God and other's at bay.
And consider this: Jesus said 'The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.' (John 10:1-21) and in Matthew He said 'For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.' (Matthew 11:30)

1 comment:

Holly said...

Hhmmm how fitting! I would have to agree with you. I took a look at my life while reading this blog, as I do with many of your blogs and I took a step back to see how busy our lifes are, not just ours as a couple but also mine spiritually and I got lost in my own thoughts about all I have on my plate. And it got me thinking about the many times I tell myself, I need to slow down and take more time for God, but has that happened, nope. I'm still sitting here, thumbing through my brain at all of the things I do and how some things are really not a priority and how I can shed those from my "busy" life. I do need to ask God to help me wiht those habits that I have that keep me from Him. It will be hard, but "through Christ all things are possible"! :) Thanks for another great reminder! Love you!