”Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand,
asif it were necessary to understand,
when it is simply necessary to love.”
At the end of me, is where God can begin. At the end of my striving and failing and trying. At the end of my successes and misses. When I finally reach the place of exhaustion, when I turn to God and say, ‘can you fill me up?’ is when I actually give him room to really move in my life. But how many times must I learn this? At the very end of my rope is the beginning of God’s. Why do I rely so heavily on self-sufficiency instead of the gift that awaits in Christ?
Lent is the season of sacrifice as we await the joy of Easter. In years past I gave up coffee, sugar, and other harmlessly harmful things (pun intended). This year? Nothing to give up…instead I need to drink in. I realized at our Ash Wednesday service last week that I had been in a place of spiritual dryness for a short time. I had been doing the work of ministry but not enough time spent at the actual wellhead of my faith: Jesus Christ. It is so strange how we can talk of our love of God without any time spent in the divine romance. But at the Ash Wednesday service, as we sang out the worship song “Be My Everything!” I literally was yelling out the words to God as I was desperately trying to remind myself. Yes, Jesus, BE MY EVERYTHING. I have been making the mistake of EVERYTHING BUT JESUS…life has been crowding out time with the Lord. Too much stuff to do…not enough time dwelling in the presence of Christ.
So I’m spending less time trying to understand…and more time (to quote Monet) just trying to Love. Every morning for the next 40 days of Lent, I’m trying to drink from the source. I wake before the kids and wife, and silently I slip downstairs. With a cup of coffee, I resist the temptation to check email. I resist the temptation to check FB. I resist the temptation to open the Seattle Times. Before I do anything else, I spend time with Jesus. Maybe this is easier for you than me…for me this is hard. But I’ve been doing it. I open the bible. I open my journal. And I write my prayers. I write my questions. I write my thoughts to Him. Less personal reflection and more of a written journey of intimacy. Like going on a date with your wife after a season of just laboring together, as Christians we need to sit across the table and just gaze at the One who gives our life meaning. Without the practice of intimacy, we can easily become just role players in a play that has lost its meaning. No, we need to be reminded of the author of it all. This is my journey for the next 5+ weeks until Easter. Want to join me?