The Battery Is Dying

This could be on of those double meaning posts where I tell you the two meanings behind the title. The first is literal. My computer battery is dying. The second is one of those hidden meanings. My heart is dying, can die, don’t want it to die.

I always feel like when I sit down to write anything I always feel I have so much to say and so little time to say it. I have had to learn to pace myself and be patient with the writing process. Today has been a wonderful day remembering my mom. My mom has been a huge inspiration to me over the past 28 1/2 years of life! Yes, friends, its already halfway til November.

I have seen my mom really, really do the things she has seen and read in Scripture. I think every single Christian on the planet has one very large challenge. The number one challenge( and maybe you can’t number them, but I will try) is to actually do what we hear. I had blogged a while back about living it on Monday or in real life. Its so easy to hear, and hear, and hear and not respond. Its as James says of the man looking in the mirror. We are all so easily distracted. Even with emotion behind a sermon, when your pastor cries, or you cry, there can still be forgetting that takes place. I have sought out in my own heart to solve this riddle and to find some answers behind this loaded issue. The challenge is as hard as it seems because we are living in a culture of words. We live in a culture of intentions. We live in the midst of big( and sometimes too big) of visionaries that just hype up the crowd and the people but fail to give people the manual for real life.

I agree that sometimes we just need some inspiration. We just need someone to cast out of us and to us something that is beyond our reach. But to often that is all that it is. I have been hearing the same five to ten messages for most of my life. And to this day what troubles me the most is the idea that its possible for me to fail and come short in the follow through.

I started out talking of mom and she has been my example. I have seen my mom take up this very challenge. She has read it and lived it. I look at my mom as an example. But I also look to other people as not the example. I have seen a lot of people talk a really good talk and have even been gifted better than myself at talking it up, but they too have failed to do it. Maybe fail is to harsh a word but consider this…

If you look back at the seasons of your life think about:( in my context-all the places I have lived)

– I think of my church in Colorado in Loveland Resurrection Fellowship. I think of all the friends and people I grew up with. The Ruckus Journal name was derived from my Loveland/Fort Collins friends. Most of them are still there and most are still at Rez, but are they living what we heard as kids. Are they leading in the way that we were taught to lead, and beyond. Are they burning for Jesus today? They are all married and most have kids; how, might I ask, how are they with their spouses and children. I believe the best but only God knows what is true. Where are they today? The same people I cried with at winter and summer camps, got in trouble with, smoked cigars with, went to dances at school with, soaked in the hot tub with, and most of all spent hours and hours living life with. Are they full on the inside or is there battery dying?

– From September 2004 to the end of 2012 I was in Kansas City. I mean countless faces have I met over the years and countless prayers have gone up. Nearly ten years ago I did an internship with 40 other faces, all near my age. I was 18 at the time and here we are ten years later. What are they doing now? Where are they now? Are they burning in the word, in prayer, in worship and in their relationships? Or is there battery dead or dying?

I am no stranger to struggle and to difficulty. I have had three major breakdowns in the past 7 years. All happened in Kansas City. The full story of all that has not been revealed yet because the time has not yet come for that. But I have seen just in my life how all the struggles I have had with depression and anxiety have forced me to choose either God’s goodness and mercy, or a very strong resolve to simply just walk away from God. I don’t underestimate that people I once loved and ran with in Kansas City have walked away from the faith due to struggles and circumstance, perhaps that ugly force called bitterness and offense. But it rings in me today, who has it today? I wrote the poem ‘Who Has It’ and that was and is what I have been thinking for months and months. Who is not just talking but who is living this?

And so, here we are all gathered in this place called community and love for each other. Is your battery dying? The freeway in my poetry refers to this image. Thousands and millions drive daily and some people this is their reality. Life is spent mostly on the road. Its a brutal world here in Los Angeles. I live in Pomona near a million freeways and with a thousand ways to get to one place. But I can’t help but think of how John Mark talks about the interstate and the working class and men and women doing the same old, same old daily.

The battery is dying on my computer. But I will recharge it soon. The battery in  my heart however, needs an awakening.

I need a new and fresh perspective on love and God’s mercy. I have been so grateful to God for hard times and for hard seasons. I embrace the hard stuff. I do so in order that I may die to myself and live to God. Some of you are doing everything in your power to run away from your pain. Movies, television, endless hours scouring facebook just clicking away at people you probably don’t even care about. Past relationships you once had, skimming Instagram and seeing the pictures and on and on it goes…

I have done all of the above. But it is God’s good mercy that He would have us withdraw and shut down these distractions. All of us just need a break from knowing everything everyone is doing at all times. If you have kids, I get it that you need to have your phone on all the time. I realize we have lives. But I don’t buy it for one second that we need to be checking social networking every second of every day. More people are looking down these days then looking up. The smartphone world is destroying our relationships. It just is. Slowly but surely it is going to radically change the way we interact. Don’t run away from pain. Don’t hide in the million things that you can hide behind. The raw love of God can only be felt when we allow ourselves to feel it. Its power. Its what G.K. Chesterson said once, “(God’s) fierce mercy!” It is fierce and it is final and it is a force that cannot be stopped. But opening up to it and feeling it change you and allowing it to change you, that takes a lot of time. It won’t happen here a little, there a little. It won’t happen on the run. It will happen when we carve our space for it to happen. Call it works only because you don’t want to do the work. I am serious. Christians can say its works to try to labor for God and labor in prayer and in the word, but laboring is biblical. Works is where you are convinced that you are not right with God based on your efforts. There is a big difference. If you want to live passive then go ahead and do it but I promise you there is much more in God then you have yet to realize.

Don’t let the battery die. Do what you hear. And hear it clearly but ask God how to do it. How to love, how to give, how to live and how to go deeper and deeper in the things of God. Happy Mothers day to you all! I am blessed to God for my mom who has followed through.

 

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