Monday, May 4, 2009

I Do...

Precious words. These are two simple words I heard Saturday as I was in a wedding and watched my friend Geoff tell Megan, one of many girls who have become like little sisters to me in Indianapolis. I haven’t written in quite a while, haven’t really felt inspired by anything in quite some time, and definitely haven’t felt like the man I think and would like to be in maybe close to a month. Saturday I read Psalm 1 and it has taken until right now, at this moment, to finally get me to say I do. I am not saying I do in some poetic beautiful marriage ceremony, rather something I believe to be vital to the concept of beauty itself. I said I do and I will to being honest with myself and God. I’m not going to go on an emotional rant that leaves you (the reader) feeling tingly and euphoric nor will I say I have something figured out as a universal principle for all, I will tell you how God finally came crashing down and reality set in though, for me, personally, and how I said I do.

I think from the time I started really following Jesus at the age of 21 I was automatically over inundated with concepts and precepts that I didn’t necessarily learn on my own and accepted almost blindly. I have and continue to work through things that I question and try to get to the root of my understanding or belief in that certain principle or moral. I go through these times that I call “funks.” Many people have picked up on this term and began to incorporate it into their daily dialect. I have always had this illustration that has helped me understand or see from a distant perspective what is going on during these funks and how I go through this journey of faith in the Christ, Jesus. Roller Coaster. My blog is accordingly named, A Roller Coaster Called Life. There are highs and lows. Terms that are not uncommon in physics are frequency, crest, trough, wavelength, and amplitude. Follow this link to look into each term to better understand where I am going. Life is one big wave, in it we have crests and troughs. Where all this comes together for me and my idea of a roller coaster is the idea of highs and lows and their frequencies. Early in the Christian walk I believe that you will have very short wave lengths, with extreme positive and negative amplitudes, making for a very dramatic wave. As you continue your walk I believe the goal is to not flat line, for medically on a cardiogram would be death, but make less frequent, smoother, longer wavelengths, with smaller amplitudes. This makes for a much less thespian wave.

The first piece of advice I get from everyone when I am in the low of my funk is to read my bible, pray more, and seek community. While these are all very important and necessary practices to a healthy lifestyle while following Christ I do not think they are health done out of obligation alone. I said I do recently to not try to fake out God. I always laugh out loud when I read Genesis and see where Adam is hiding behind a tree from God. Really? How ridiculous an idea it is to hide from an all seeing God. The same rings true during these funks when I and others say things like, “I know I should read my Bible I just don’t want to, I know God is always with me, but I just don’t feel it, I should make myself pray, it will help me.” Stop here and read Psalm 1.

“But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”

We have this idea that we should be doing something so we think of ways we can make this something happen. I think every Christian and authentic follower of Jesus wants to bear fruit. I think when they don’t, when I don’t, we try to formulate strategies to obtain this goal of producing fruit. Men have made great noble efforts in producing literature and programs to help reach fruit production and with good motives, I just question the understanding of fruit and bearing it they must have when writing this seemingly helpful material. Can man alone make fruit grow, can we make it produce a crop? The answer in short is no. Jesus says that we cannot bear fruit apart from Him. So we have no power or agenda that can make the fruit produce which we so yearn to see (John 15). This psalm says that he who delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on it day and nights will is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Read that again. There is no implication or assumption that fruit is always out. The word season is used. Reading the Bible is important and praying is important, but know that it is not doing those during your season of funk that will save you. God will bring you out of this season and you will bear fruit if you are a righteous person. Lucky for us we have no law like Israel and our righteousness comes by faith in Christ Jesus though. So basically if you believe upon Christ, you are righteous, if you are righteous, you will mediate on his law (which is now written on the walls of our hearts) day and night (the Bible) you will bear fruit, but don’t forget, in season, the season God declares appropriate. In your lowest troughs know that God has a plan and knows the season. Nothing you can do will produce the fruit but being honest and open with God about how you feel. Go is not foolish nor does he take kindly to coy facades. He knows our hearts and if we dare try to be mischievous with an all knowing God we are just as foolish as a little naked man hiding behind a tree. The psalms are so beautiful because they bleed authenticity. David was a man after God’s own heart because he was an honest man, with God. Pour out your worries, angers, frustrations, and concerns to God, He listens, you just have to wait for His season and you will bear fruit and get out of that funk.

I hope this helps someone, writing this alone has been therapeutic for me. May you trust and know God, be honest and open with Him, and always know He is in control not us, not our plans, nor our strategies, even if they do line up with His a little, He ultimately has control. Don’t be discouraged in your funk, try to learn and be honest to God.

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