I lived on a high desert.
At night the moon acted as a spotlight throwing my shadow against the sagebrush as I trekked to nowhere in particular. When the moon slept, the stars would take its place and light my path. After a while, the silence was interrupted only by my ears straining for a sound not willing to be revealed. Then a gust of wind would dance at my feet and kiss my face only to run and hide in the arms of that same silence.
Now with even the silence gone, I entered a state of being authored by a god I could not name. Like Moses, I was intrigued by a previously unseen ‘burning bush’ that would not change its state from burning nor be consumed. Bowing to its charm I entered a rest unwilling to disguise itself with any activity or thought.
There I paused as if a stranger before an odd-looking door leading to a surprise I was not yet prepared to know. I knocked. It was already open, but I did not know it had been opened years before my birth. In fact, it has always been open. I called in, “Can someone come out and play?”
My chest leapt for joy at something that had left its footprints over every moment of my self-awareness. Its name was ‘I AM always with you.’
Yes, IT had always been there.
Frightened at this discovery I withdrew to the stars and wind and turned for home, humanity, and any distraction I could conjure. Escape itself ran through my legs and soon my heart followed with fearful cadence to my running. Once shrouded by my house and in the presence of my wife and child, I cautiously ventured toward sleep, hoping that stalking revelation would vanish with the dawn and be put to rest.
But even that phrase, put to rest, caused the desert to reappear in its all-encompassing silence. Over time, and with age itself, I began to lose command of the now too familiar distractions. Friends and family died by the hordes leaving few behind. Our dance was at an end with more shadows twirling into the dark than music to accompany. Their exit was promising my own re-entrance into His presence once this body was silenced. The distractions were all but gone.
Even now my body has joined in the mutiny, leaving me with an empty schooner’s riggings creaking, declaring the best had passed. Unwillingly, I discovered myself once again before that open door but I know the name of the one on whom to call. With shame, I bowed to the silence and re-discovered, from the inside, the “I AM always with you”. The betrothal to Jesus had now become a marriage feast.
I was one and the same time married to this ineffable presence who not only authored and finished the events, but the heartbeats to go with it. I discovered a desert full of all I needed for both living this life and remaining in that union with life itself from which I had tried so hard to ignore. I had joined the wind and had begun a dance for which all are invited.
Thank You, Jesus.
Forgot to look into your eyes
As if I was meeting you for the first time
Or not leaning over really close
To catch your every word
Nor enjoying the warmth of you
Snuggling up within my space
You just want to be near
Yes, I have ignored you taking time out of your living
To enjoy my life
Forgive my hearing your story
As an addendum to mine
Or ignoring your touch
As if it were out of time
And my clamoring to be seen
When I forgot your face
I heard your pain and saw your tears
But hid my tears for shame
Forgive me for turning my music up so loud
I could not hear myself much less
Seeing your dancing to my tune
And see your oneness dressing my loneliness
For so trying to get noticed
I let slip the opportunity to notice you
I have counted my own breaths
Forgetting why I breathe
Even how I breathe
Watching your story unfold
I was too busy to see it
How it fit with mine
Then you touch me again
Ignoring the past
Forgive me for letting you
Experience the dark
Lost in it
And my not even shouting in
Nor listening for an echo
Broken by your call
Broken by your whimper
And most of all
Forgive me for not loving you
Dedicated to the Christ who has walked with me in the form of Linda now for 53 years on her 76th birthday.
I love you, Linda!
“we forever remain the dependent member in the union.
And the union is never safe until we know that.
So, until you have a few good knocks on the head and discover your conceited self, you're not safe to know the union. Maybe you've had plenty of knocks. They're the healthiest thing we can have. We've got to be made safe and understanding for this tremendous relationship.
He is the Lord. We are the co-operators. We are receivers.”
Reading the scriptures pointed to Him.
Knowing Christ as a historical figure didn't do it.
Knowing Him as a great teacher, no one follows, didn't do it.
Knowing Him as MY Savior opened a world of possibilities.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is amazing but all too often egotistical.
Trying to complete what He began to do in and through me has failed every time.
Entering Him, as if He were my rest, freed me from trying to be like God.
Then Christ revealed Himself not only in me but living out through me as me.
Now i look to what He is doing.
And i get busy.
I LIVE in Him and He in me, yes He is my life and LIVING
All too often, when faced with disaster, we think God must have taken a vacation. Nothing could be further from the truth. He never closer nor more ready to be your answer than when we cannot be our own answer.
How about every time you run across a very big problem face to face, or on social media, you say out loud, "God TOO big to salve this one." Go ahead and laugh too.
All our (worldly) lives we are taught to set a goal and then strive toward that goal. When have we ever been taught or practiced to put the life of Jesus as that goal? When have we listened to Paul's teaching?
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. [Phil 3:13-15 NKJV emphasis mine]
I know you are tired and even a bit discouraged that I don't give you a list of to-dos. Every other teacher worth their salt has many insights and methods for you to get better, think straighter, grow wiser, obey immediately, sin less, walk closer to God, be a friend to God, escape the trials to come, and on an infimum.
So here is my list of five things-to-do.
Or, just trust God!
To let something happen presupposes it is already at work and you are not going to make an effort to interfere, alter, nor try to stop it from happening.
It is sort of if you are in the middle of a narrow road and a MAC truck is barreling down the road toward you and for some reason, maybe too many MARVEL movies, you stretch your hand out thinking you can stop it. Then a voice from heaven crescendos, "Move quickly or die."
With an insight, that message stirs fear in your soul and you successfully leap out of the way of the truck as it speeds by just missing you. From this experience, you've learned many things including the will of the voice and its love for the driver to get to where she is going on time. Oh, maybe it loved you too.
So what is this all about? People think they can author their destinies and once they have that down pat author other people's destinies. Yet many of the injunctions of the New Testament is for us to let (get out of the way of) something that is already happening. Take the verse quoted below as an example.
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." (Romans 13:1, KJV emphasis mine)
Jesus was so confident in Holy Spirit resident in Him He gave up all right to direct His way and humbled Himself to be obedient to the will of God for His life AND death. He knew that of Himself He could not initiate ANYTHING! Jesus also claimed that He would return as that very Holy Spirit but now by taking resident in those who trust Him to do so just as Mary His Mother trusted Holy Spirit to take resident in her to form the Christ. We trust not only that He rose but we too rose with Him to live in the newness of His living us. We now, like He then, can do nothing of ourselves but continue to trust Him. Trust Him to do what? There is the mistake we all take way too often. We want to shout at God, BE SPECIFIC! We want to not only know the road to take but to the foot the distance between each goal, and the method to get there. We want to control our moments and the ends of all our efforts!
Shame on us one and all for obeying this spirit of error for which Christ died to separate us. He destroyed the spirit of trying by replacing with His very self same Spirit of Trusting.
"I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [ cut off from vital union with Me ] you can do nothing." (John 15:5, AMPC)