Thoughts,Songs,Writings,Rants,Encouragements, and Life

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Crazy Times

"There are some people who will never listen to God, until something terrible happens, they are not interested enough to hear God's still voice in the quiet, so HE speaks to them more loudly." - C.S. Lewis

Acts 9:1-19
Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath. He was eager to destroy the Lord’s followers,* so he went to the high priest. 2 He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.
3 As he was nearing Damascus on this mission, a brilliant light from heaven suddenly beamed down upon him! 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”
5 “Who are you, sir?” Saul asked.
And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”
7 The men with Saul stood speechless with surprise, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice, but they saw no one! 8 As Saul picked himself up off the ground, he found that he was blind. 9 So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. He remained there blind for three days. And all that time he went without food and water.
10 Now there was a believer* in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord!” he replied.
11 The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you arrive, ask for Saul of Tarsus. He is praying to me right now. 12 I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying his hands on him so that he can see again.”
13 “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! 14 And we hear that he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest every believer in Damascus.”
15 But the Lord said, “Go and do what I say. For Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. 16 And I will show him how much he must suffer for me.”
17 So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you may get your sight back and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 Afterward he ate some food and was strengthened.

The past few weeks I have been wanting to write something about the craziness of life and how for some reason we are awakened to Christ in the crazy times of our lives. Something goes right, something goes wrong, someone attacks, something hurts, something brings joy, we get afraid, we crash, we fall, we fail, we slip, we are weak, things get intense, life throws curves...and yet there is God through it all.

I honestly believe that God needs to use a louder voice during certain times in our lives. We seem to forget what his voice sounds like or how we need to respond to it. So he has to shout it at us. Bring a few things crashing in on us. And then we see it again.

Like Saul in the above passage: we get blinded by his "guiding" not scolding light.Now He did scold Saul and was pretty ticked off at him. But I believe God knew that Saul, soon to be Paul, would be one of his greatest advocates for the Message. God was giving Saul the wake up call, encouragement, and guidance that he was lacking and needing. Like Paul we all need are wake up calls. We are in need of some serious butt kicking. Some serious..."dude, you do realize the trail is over here...and that is poison oak you are steppin in right now?" Some of them are not as harsh as a blinding light from the sky. Some are actually quieter than we realize and we completely miss them. As the Lewis quote above puts it into perfect sense, He (God) gives us a little nudge every now and then, saying; "hey, buddy, why don't we try it this way? Yeah, remember me? You know that I am a jealous God right?!?"

I realize that Christ is jealous for me. I realize that I stray. I wander aimlessly...seeking things that will never produce the intimacy that Christ gives and provides. And yet since I have been home from India, I have been in a wierd place. I am realizing my potential in Christ daily...and yet I am failing to act on it. When I know that I should go deeper into His word, or question/discuss things...I begin to get busy again...or become shy.

Today the shyness and lame excuses had to subside...even if it was for a few moments...

See, for a few months now I have been fumbling and stumbling.And I seemed to have forgotten a key factor in my relationship with Christ...perhaps the simplest and yet most inconvienient, challenging, hard, and enjoyable part: Being still and knowing that He is God.

He has had to give me a couple wake up calls. I have been really busy lately. Been in trouble lately. Been an ass lately. Been Ben lately. And I need to come back to Him and hang with him for a little while. Chill at His feet. Get back to the basics. Fall in love again.

Today I began that journey once again. I had the priveledge of going through a prayer Labyrinth. Now, I understand, that Labyrinths are not origionally Christian. They are actually a pegan practice, dating over 2,000 B.C. (Christians caught on about 1,500 A.D.) But I do believe that if done correctly, the Labrynth can help us bring Christ back to the center of our lives and help to discard all of the distractions around us and let us focus in on the important and infinate and intimate.

one of the few pictures I could find of a Labyrinth

I was going through the Labrynth and one of the stations overwhelmed me to a point of tears. I was supposed to take my finger and place it into an ink pad, then place that bleeding ink onto a piece of paper. The problem was the last time I had taken an imprint of my finger with ink was the day I was arrested May 15th 1997. The simple coolness of finger to blue ink brought back memories of a depressing and very confused four-teen year old kid.

God shocked me today. He brought up something I have thought about, but have not dwelled on for a while. He brought me back to the very first journey I took when meeting Him for the first time in Kazakstan, only a few months later from my fingerprint being placed in files that would last forever in some file box for years to come.

It was that first meeting that I was reminded of. It was that first recognizable dance with the Holy Spirit. It was the weeping. The forgiveness. The joy. The fear. The passion.

I laughed at those moments. I thanked God for those moments. I wept for those moments.

But the journey was not finished. No, I was making it to the center...the center which leads to Christ. To the blood of Christ. Where Jesus blood never fails me...ever. To the Cross. Wicked at it is, hovering over me. I was taken to the cross, where I should have been for such a long time...but I had forgotten.

Today I took a journey. Today I found Christ...again. Today I fell in love again. Today I felt infinate. Today I rememebered what intimacy truly is.

I was given a little wake up call. By remember harsh things from my past. I was reminded again of the cool grace by which I am saved.

Was I expecting a wake up call today? No, not at all. I expected to be moved and possibly walk away with a spiritual high. Instead I walked away with a higher appreciation for the grace and forgiveness and the cross than ever before...

Crazy Times-Jars of Clay

You're cold that way
And that's why you say
The things that you say
You can't attract
The things that you lack
You're trying in vain


It seems it's always the crazy times
You find you'll wake up and realize
It takes more than your saline eyes
To make things right

You spiral down
You've broken your crown
You don't feel like a queen
You've seen the proof
But you're still crying wolf
You'll never believe


You try to climb a broken ladder
Grip the missing rungs
And fall down, down, down
Seems sometime ago you said
This wouldn't last
And now you sit here crying

Beside your bed
You feel left for dead
You kneel in the dark...

It takes more than your saline eyes
To make things right



Post a Comment

<< Home