Skip to main content

relapse

Someone must have rearranged our bedroom furniture during the night. I got up this morning , it seems, on the proverbial wrong side of the bed. After a month of blessed and undeserved contentment and gratitude in my heart, I felt the old brain start to go in negative patterns again this morning. The sad thing is not that this happened (and will occasionally happen), but that I allowed myself to go down that road, to stay on that track, and ended up saying things to people that I now regret. Yes, apologies have been given, and I have to trust that forgiveness and redemption are bigger than my blunders.

It started when I got irritated and annoyed because one little thing did not happen the way I wanted it to this morning. My prayer as I walked to the bank this afternoon was "God, I am a control freak. Please help me to be a lover instead." It is so hard to remain out of control of my life. I can do okay for a period of time and then WHAM I just get tired of not having a say in how things go. I want to write the "to do" list for God and for others, thinking that having my needs and desires met will be good for mankind. My version of "the good life" is very small and self-centred, if I am honest with myself. It takes very little into account except how to feel at ease with myself and my circumstances.

However (big however), God's love knows no bounds. His grace is more than enough for any shit that plops in my way. God is not scared off by bad moods and frustration, because hope is greater than all of it, and he always has plenty to offer. He never walks away. He gives good gifts, especially when I ask for them, and waits for me to open wide, ready to receive whatever they are.

I have the potential to be an incredible receiver. Sometimes I forget that and jump into the position of quarterback. Then I try to throw my own plays to myself. No wonder it never quite works out. Let me be content with receiving. Let me practise and practise until I do it so well that it becomes second nature to me. And let me untwist my heart from its painful contortions of confusion: trust is not helplessness, though it often feels like it.

Being a control freak results in chronic disappointment. Being a lover ends in being in love.
This is a pond where beavers have built a dam somewhere in the Laurentians.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.

---------------------

When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

comedic timing

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting cow w---
Moooooooo!!

Timing is important in both drama and comedy. A well-paced story draws the audience in and helps it invest in the characters, while a tale too hastily told or too long drawn out will fail to engage anyone. Surprise - something which interrupts the expected - is a creative use of timing and integral to any good story. If someone is reading a novel and everything unfolds in a predictable manner, they will probably wonder why they bothered reading the book. And so it is in life. Having life be predictable all of the time is not as calming as it sounds. We love surprises, especially good surprises like birthday parties, gifts, marriage proposals, and finding something that we thought was lost. Surprises are an important part of humour. A good joke is funny because it goes to a place you didn't expect it to go. Similarly, comedic timing allows something unexpected …

singing lessons

When I was a young child, a visiting preacher came to our country church. He brought his two daughters with him, and before he gave his sermon, they sang beautiful duets about Jesus. They had lovely voices which blended well. The preacher, meaning to impress on us their God-given musical talent, mentioned that the girls had never had any singing lessons. The congregation nodded and ooohhed in appreciation. I was puzzled. I didn't understand how not learning was a point of grace or even pride. After all, people who have natural abilities in sports, math, writing, art, or science find it extremely helpful to study under teachers who can aid them in their development and introduce them to things outside their own experience. Being self-taught (though sometimes the only option available to those with limited resources) is not a cause for pride or celebration. Why? Because that's just not how the communal, relational Creator set things up.

I have been singing since I was a child. …