Posts Tagged ‘Gospels’

I get my wisdom teeth removed tomorrow morning. I am not looking forward to it much, but I would like it done sooner rather than later. Oh sigh.

I feel a bit out of sorts lately. I’m not quite sure why. It’s strange, a feeling of a slowness tinged with loneliness. It makes me a bit anxious… or restless. For what, I am not sure. It’s a little disconcerting at times, and the truth is that I want to want God more. I want to desire him greatly at all times. The reality is that I often don’t even when I wish to. Even knowing that nothing else will satisfy, I do still pursue those other things. But… the fact that I feel some sort of desire for a passion for him it is something. Maybe it counts for a whole lot more than I give it credit for. At least I have some sense of direction, and I know that direction is true and reliable.

How does something seem so near and far at the same time? It doesn’t make much sense. But I hope… I wait upon him and upon his Spirit.

“A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” ( For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
– John 4:7-15

“After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
– John 6:66-69

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We always want to have sense of knowing what is before us. There are those with whom the future prospects are of great concern, while there are others who “live in the moment.” But both extremities have to acknowledge that the future is a great and vast unknown, one in which there may be great anticipation or may be a cause for great fear. It would be nice at times to know what the future holds. Then at least we would feel some sort of control. And how desperately we seek to box in our future, to plot out the little details so that we would have even greater control. While there certainly is merit in planning and preparation (I’m not advocating that we do not do those things and do them well), we can’t ever really be prepared enough for the surprises that life brings us. To seize at control over that which is uncontrollable is an absurdity. So what is the proper balance?

I find my thoughts oscillating between present and future. There is something great about the anticipation of the new. The feeling is giddy, somewhat similar to the feeling one gets in starting a new relationship. Not only that, but in times of great change, there is a sense of renewal. I enter into this newness as in a ritual, allowing myself to be reborn into a new circumstance and new prospects. A new hope perhaps? It is in times like these that I appreciate it when Jesus says, “Behold, I am making all things new” (Rev. 21:5). He can and does breathe new life into our circumstances… always so that he may make things better, perfecting it. At least, that is my belief.

But because there are so many variables that are unknown about the future, it is also stressful. The “what if’s” and the “maybes” linger around and occupy our attention. We become nervous, fretful, frustrated — among other things — and perhaps there is something to be said about God wanting us to live in the present. Is not the faithfulness at the present more important than obsessing over how we will respond to situations that have yet to occur? Would we not be going astray if in getting caught up with thoughts of the future we neglect to do our duties to God at the present? The Christian walk may not be always exciting. In fact, there will be times when it is downright tedious. Maybe even horrible. But perhaps those times are most revealing about who we really are.

Did our Lord not impart upon us wisdom that speaks to how we are to live presently? He was very practical about his approach to our spirituality in our daily lives. This is something I appreciate in his teachings. As is recorded in Luke 12:22-34, Jesus said:

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

I do look forward to my tomorrow. But I will not overlook the blessings or the struggles of today. How can I not appreciate my Maker who is molding me with his very hands? I think I am very much in love with him. 🙂

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There are parts of all of us that are treasured.  It is the part that we value about ourselves, the part that we want to share with those most intimate to us, the part that makes us unique.  It is part of our identity, and as such, we want others to see it and appreciate it.  These things are that which are beautiful and good and which we have worked hard to gain and keep.  But what happens when those who see it do not recognize it as special?  Or, what if they completely misunderstand it?  Harder still is the question of how we should feel and respond when someone only recognizes it in part.  We get offended, and rightly so I would argue, when someone spits upon that which is most precious to us.

I’ve been thinking about the passage in Matthew when Jesus tells his listeners that they should not cast their pearls before swine lest it is trampled (Mt. 7:6).  In this, he warns us not to reveal that which is most valuable to us, our “treasure” so to speak, to those who would not appreciate it, who perhaps do not have the faculty of accepting and appreciating those things.  And we see the wisdom of this: why pour out all that you are into someone only to get no return for your goods?  There is certainly some good in investing in people, and I would never discourage someone from their love toward another, but to give everything to them when they cannot appreciate it seems like foolishness and a waste.  How much better would it be to give your treasures to someone who will love it and protect it, someone who would not take your sacred possession and wallow in the mud with it?

I think I’m becoming more hesitant and selective to whom I will show these treasures, primarily because I believe that these things have not always gone to those deserving of them.  I wouldn’t say that those investments were a complete waste.  They were done with good intentions and had some good results.  I do not regret the person I’ve become through the experiences.  I only regret that it was not reciprocated in a meaningful way.  Even in the midst of my desire for intimate relationships, I know that I should protect and reserve some parts of myself for those who are worthy and willing to share in them with me.

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