My way or the highway…

“There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.'” C.S. Lewis

I like that quote. I guess because God does give us a choice, even though to some His choice does seem rather harsh. In our vernacular, it would be like the it’s-my-way-or-the-highway philosophy that our parents at some point in our lives made really obvious to us.

It’s hard to ignore your parents when you’re within their physical gaze, but it’s pretty easy to ignore God when your idea of where He actually is might be up there or everywhere or somewhere else or maybe even nowhere.

I find it really remarkable that once we have received Christ, God never loses patience with us, even when years and years go by and we’re still disobeying Him in a particular area of our lives. Oswald Chambers said, “Nothing is a light matter with a child of God. How much longer are we going to keep God trying to teach us one thing?” Good question.

I agree with Chambers’ assertion that you can’t have a moral holiday and remain moral or have a spiritual holiday and remain spiritual.  That’s one truth we Christ-followers need to keep in mind as we do life.  Spiritual holidays may be fun at the time, but just as with moral holidays, there will be consequences.

Psalm 19:7 says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the whole person (mind, body and spirit); the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”

Remember, it’s impossible to stay in fellowship with God and not repeat the same painful lessons over and over again if you don’t read His Word and incorporate His teachings into your life. It‘s just that simple.

There in that place…

The days rush by, and I think about my grandnephew, whose days are unending, his nights just long enough to remember the tilled fields of spring followed by the green expanse of crops pulsating in summer’s breezes, broken only by the creek winding through our land connecting farm to farm where family wait for his return.

There in that place where even subtle sins are noted, he is lost amidst the many who are watched day and night yet never known beyond surveillance screens that reveal everything yet nothing of the boy he was when he became a man when he was barely more that just a boy.

Like any child who looks for love, he found it in the gentle words of his grandfather, who taught him how to put together and take apart the toys of boyhood one block at a time. And, as he grew older, he watched and learned under the gaze of his almost-dad, who was not there when the judge handed down the ruling that took him away from everything he loved.

He had looked for love so many times in the circle of other wounded children grown up, who saw each other through the glazed eyes of alcohol-induced laughter that hardly hid the pain that roiled deep inside. And the alcohol that took him away from the pain tore the best friend he had ever had from his days and his nights where now the constant glare of prison lights robbed him of the dreams he longed for.

He made himself remember the fresh smell of rain on tilled fields, the familiar aroma of oil and grease in his grandpa’s shop, the joyous atmosphere of family dinners and the sound of his mom’s laughter, the combine’s roar and the sound of the grain swirling up the auger to the bins. He thought of the clicking sounds Grandpa would make as they waited for their plates of BBQ to come at noon and the nudges in greeting from friends and farmers who filled the room from 12 to 1.

He remembered so much and then could take no more and waited in the still dorm as snoring ceased and breaths were held, as the dreaded prospect of one more endless day began.

O, Holy Father, just as Your Son burst forth from the grave, invade that stark place with the reality of Your Presence. Break into hearts and flood them with Your Perfect Love. Shatter the walls that conceal the men you created them to be, and destroy the plans of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy their very lives. Birth hope in jaded hearts this day, and set them aflame for You.

Silence…

Strangely silent
well, maybe not so strange
sometimes the heart has nowhere to go
nothing to say, except to Him
who always hears
but is silent
when silence must have its way.
How could months go by, I wonder,
months of silence recorded doggedly
through scores of mornings
when my sole desire was to sit at His feet
and listen.
Haltingly, I ask for words to flow
from this heart ever changed
by His Words, His Voice
heard best in the silence.