Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Deeper Look--Part 2

I am exposed and naked, completely vulnerable before all creation. Everything I thought I was--a facade, a game, an act. Security gone, I am left to confront all that was once hidden from me. Too afraid to approach, I sense Something drawing near; I feel as though I am walking closer, compelled by a Force other than myself. Closer to what? Where am I going? With nothing around me, all comforts gone, I continue to move forward. Or is Something moving toward me?

In an open plain, the clouds begin to form, lightning striking from every direction and the thunder growing louder, more intense, almost shaking the ground underneath my feet. The quaking causes me to look nervously around for a stampede of wild animals. Nothing. I shift my eyes upward, toward the sky above when the first drop falls dirctly in the middle of my forehead. It trickles down my cheek, following the same path that many tears of pain and sadness once flowed. Another, then another, then another. As the droplets hit my skin, I take notice of what they are. Not water, not rain like I know. The substance is think, dark in color. Red. Blood. At first, fear grips me, blood pouring from the sky onto every part of my body. But as I am covered, from head, down to my chest, then my stomach, then my feet, a feeling of freedom rushes over me, unlike anything I have known before. What I once lost--comfort, shelter, security--none compare to what I have found...or what found me.

Joy floods over me and I begin to dance. Covered in this blood, exposed and naked, I feel clean and deeply refreshed. Truly for the first time.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Deeper Look--Part 1

If I am truly honest with myself and before God, what would I say to the following questions:

How selfish am I?
How arrogant am I?
How boastful am I?
How self centered am I?

I believe that I really do not come close to truly experiencing the gospel in a transformational way, at least not to the point that I can recognize it and give praise to God for it. I know that the Spirit has grown me and is sanctifying me daily, so I wonder if it is just my lofty expectations that hinder my sight. I do also trust that sin in my life keeps me from knowing better the true knowledge of God. My pride stands before me, running out into the world to attack all that does not see things the way I do. He keeps me from asking questions of sincere inquiry because he wants to make sure I don't look stupid or ignorant (although this what happens when I don't ask questions). My arrogance tells me that I have little to learn and what I do know is far greater than anyone else my own age. He recounts all of my "life experience" and declares that I have learned enough. My self-inflated ego sells me as someone who can get the ladies, is an amazing leader with limitless vision, and one of the most devout Christians there ever was. He pawns a false verison of me off, deceiving the world in hopes that I will be bought by all.

But if I am honest with myself and before God, I will acknowledge that I am a slave to those traits, a slave to those characters who want to be my masters. Three of the hundreds of possible thousands of players in my life, these all shield and shelter me from the awesome, fearless, immense, magnificent, glorious power of God, which when unleashed in the lives of His children destroys all that which "protects" us from Him.