……..when the vehicle becomes more important than the Journey or even the Journey-er, a time out to ponder becomes expedient……..
I find the story of Isaac, Esau and Jacob intriguing, how guile and subtlety wins over brash power. Even though Isaac gave the blessing to Jacob, I find it interesting that Isaac mentions that Esau will only be under the yoke of Jacob until he gets restless. Perhaps every situation I am in at the moment is only because I have not been restless enough to break out from the chains and limitations…….
I killed you;
Ripped apart from the very roots
The vestiges of everything
We once held dear.
The yawning chasms
Finally took their toll, Harshly jerking us awake
To the rasping rhetoric of a Reality birthed
By things that would never be.
I have been
Broken like a gourd,
Crushed like the petals of a rose
Dismembered by feet in haste and shredded into bits
By hands too calloused
My scant consolation
Is the lingering scent of roses in full bloom
And the nostalgic memories of heavenly sins tainted
By the putrid smell of decaying flesh and the cries of circling vultures
Keen to feast off the pieces of a shredded heart
That has finally become
In killing you
I find salvation; the queer freedom
That finally exorcising the ghosts of a festering gangrenous limb
brings me from the stealthy spread
Today I killed you;
In the instant I drove the shovel in
And pulled out the final strands of your roots
I felt strangely alive, truly
Free to be me again.
(c) akaBagucci…. All rights reserved.
Currently reading Gordon McDonald’s Forging a Real World Faith. He identifies Eight Tips from the life of Daniel that we can use in our real world jobs..
- Kingdom Perspective: Daniel knew God was in charge. The person of real world faith gauges every activity not against the opinions of people but against that of God.When moments of divergent opinion occur, one is careful where the real power lies.
- Prudent Flexibility: Daniel knew when to back off and when to fight bare fisted.
- Wise and Tactful Communication: The person of real world faith knows how to deliver a message that blends raw knowledge with God’s over arching purposes; how they fit into the big picture if you like. Coupled with the subtlety to soften the harshness of truth while commanding the attention of his hearer to appreciate the sense in the proffered solution, the person of real-world faith has the tools to be a person of critical influence in the work place.
- True Humility: Achievements and providing solutions no one else has, have the potential to raise us to levels of self aggrandizement beyond the reasonable. Daniel always pointed to God as the source of his ‘powers’. The person of real world faith doesn’t allow whatever accolades he wins get to him. In his heart of hearts, he recognizes God as his source, and where appropriate he articulates that.
- Intelligence: Daniel didn’t leave his brain in the Temple. He brought it to work daily! The person of real world faith has the resources of Heaven networked to his brain, if he will only ask for it.. and use it!
- Integrity: Daniel delivered work with Integrity. The person of real world faith delivers on his work expectations with integrity – meeting deadlines, staying above board with company finances and assets and stuff like that. When his life was rigorously examined by his enemies, they found that they could only fault him on the matter of his faith.
- Leadership Skill: Daniel exerted an undeniable influence on Babylonian politics. He led and administered his portfolios so well that he was considered for elevation to be head of the three other administrators.
- Loyalty: Daniel – even when he had to deliver bad news- showed extreme loyalty to his bosses. He did recognize though that his first Boss was God, and the King.
Spent the weekend listening again to Joshua Harris message from New Attitude 2002 – Holiness is A Harvest. Truth is I have not devoted as much time to learning God as I have to say blogging, chasing my romantic interests and stuff like that. It’s a rude reminder that if I say I want to know God, the basic Spiritual Disciplines need to be in place! An action item from my RA involves taking bible study more seriously. I need to jump on it ASAP..
A Journey is a gradual passage from one state to another. It may be a translation of spatial coordinates- in which case an object physically changes location, or it may merely be metaphorical – an evolution of an idea from a crude, undeveloped state to a more refined one. Sometimes the journey is deterministic – the number of steps is known from the beginning; at other times it is iterative – involving little steps that seek to approximate an unknown solution. There may be fellow Journey-ers; there may also be assistance in the form of vehicles that seek to mitigate the drudgery of the journey. The key though is that change occurs and hopefully there are clearly defined metrics that show that progress is being made. When all is told though, there is an end in view, a destination, a target box if you like, within which the Journey terminates………….
Occasionally, the vehicle takes on a life of its own; the methods, the strategies, the trappings, the apparent gains all become the metric, rather than the finite increments in absolute location that should define progress…At that time, a cold eye review should show that the vehicle has seemingly become more important than the Journey, or even the Journey-er. The danger though, is that it is all too easy to get caught up in the hustle. Entrained amidst the madding crowd, it is often more dangerous to attempt to stop than to keep walking. At such times, we often require the clarity of a third eye, someone who is far removed from the euphoria of the moment, who can candidly alert us to the fact that we have stopped Journeying, but have stopped to gawk at the vehicle that should be taking us to our destination.
When the line is crossed between Journeying and Gawking, the discerning one should realize that it is time to get off the treadmill, to step out of the morass and ponder for a season………..
The deep examination of life is a critical component of following Christ wholly. Gordon McDonald offers the following categories for examination.
- My People connections: Am I a people please-r? Do I seek to gain self esteem from peoples’ opinion of me? DO I use people rather than attempt to leave their lives in a more improved state than when I met them? Do I have unresolved resentment against certain people? Am I unduly competitive and jealous of others?
- My Things connection: Do I measure my self worth based on the amount of stuff I have? Does money control me? How disciplined am I with regards to purchases, especially things that may not be needful at the moment? Am I truly generous? How much of my earnings do I give to the less privileged? DO I tend to judge people by how much they own?
- My Thought Connection: What is the condition of my thought life? What drives my thoughts? Am I captivated by frequent immoral thoughts? What are my attitudes to pornography? Am I obsessed with being someone I am not? Am I constantly dissatisfied with where I am in my life?
- My Guilt Connection: Are there things in the past I am still carrying guilt over? Are there things I need to seek forgiveness over and restitute?
- My Career Connection: What are my work goals? Am I delivering work that is excellent? Is work controlling my life? What do I do when I need a break from work?
- My Memory connection: Have I granted forgiveness to people who have hurt me in the past, deeply? Am I still controlled by defeats or failures from the past that tend to prevent me from going forward today?
- My Habit Connection: Do I have any habits, thought patterns or attitudes that are preventing me from being fully Christ-like? Is there any habit I can’t let go of?
I have ranted and raved for a while now about not feeling a real world passion for God, and rightly so. But in the last few days, I have finally gotten to start reading Gordon McDonald’s Forging a Real Faith and Francis Chan’s Crazy Love and I am scared. Scared of what I might see when I finally peek through the door. I suspect that there is so much I will see that my real world life, a lot of the nascent parts of my worldview will be totally altered. That thought is sobering and rightly so. I can see clearly that my view of God has been totally defective; Great in my head, but not in my heart, having the right answers but not the right attitudes, going through the motions without a real sense of awe. I am scared, but I’m still plodding on…. There’s more to life, and I want to see it!
For Me….In the midst of potentially destabilizing change…
The hot seat …..is the hot seat…. The place where you are put on the spot, and come under the most intense scrutiny possible. Here, the basis of your Faith is rigorously examined and the coherence of your worldview is systematically evaluated. It is the zone where well meaning words become dry platitudes devoid of any soothing balm, where textbook solutions fall apart, where time tested strategies cannot even begin to scratch the surface of the sickness that a hope deferred brings.
Nothing can approximate the feelings – no 3D virtualization or discretized solution even comes close to describing the intrinsic complexity of the interplay between the various components of the shattered whole. Its dark there, a Darkness so intense you feel like the whole world is on your shoulders; like all the storm clouds decided to park their bus at your stop and your little smoldering light is almost extinguished by the virulent attack of the hordes of darkness.
Perhaps then is the time to gird up your loins, to remember what you learned in the light, to reach for the stable ground that is inerrant Truth, to remember that Someone has attributes that mean that He has the final say, that He is the silent orchestrator working ALL things together for your good, that if He cared enough to give up His begotten Son then dispelling the dark clouds is trivial and most importantly He has come through before. Perhaps it is then time to step back from the treadmill of life and take a look at the big picture again, the Universe that tells of His Power at work, and his infinite care in shaping you before time.
The stakes are high mate…. You can’t afford to lie down and quit….. Darkness comes for a season…. Weeping remains for the night, but Joy is on the verge of breaking out! Home is just around the corner. You’ll finally make it home!