Friday, August 21, 2009

I have seen enough reality shows to know that I don't want to be living one.

(Pre-Script: This post is the most freeing when read as the song, "Bring Me To Life," #35 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
I believe in impossible miracles. I believe in the Promised Land. I believe in living there. I don't know what it looks like. I think there's plenty of milk and honey there, which rocks because I have always said that Dairy is my favorite food group. I think that it has to be fought for and protected, tilled and fertilized, nurtured, planted, and built upon. I think it is attainable in this life, and in the one to come...but I'm not always sure what it looks like.
So why is it so hard to find people who have actual faith? REAL faith? Faith, Faith, testing, one two, testing, testing, WHERE THE BEEP ARE YOU?? A lot of people SAY they have faith. SAY they believe in miracles, clap when they hear a sweet story, but then you ask them to pray, you ask them to pray about their own lives, and they say things like, "We have to be realistic here, too."
Um, we do?
...Did everyone get this memo? Because I did not get this memo. To you who say we have to be realistic, I say,
I have seen enough reality shows to know that I do not want to be living one
Have you read the bible much?
Because as far as I can tell, a lot of the things happening in there are not very "realistic," yet they happen when God's people pray in faith and believe in the completely unrealistic. A lot of things happen when people remember the promise that,
"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."*
These are things that God has already determined will be loosened and bound, and He has determined that people can be set free from whatever enslaves them...which is a whole 'nother chapter in a whole 'nother book.
Think about the Israelites who stood in front of a Red Sea as their previous captors pursued them, relentless to bring them back to the land of their slavery? How easy would it be for the Israelites to have faced the "reality" of that situation; how easy it would be to let themselves be lulled back into slavery; sure they were slaves, but at least the language and customs were familiar; how easy it would be to slip back into the only life they had ever known. How comfortable, even. Their muscles already contained muscle memory for every task; no thought required; they sleepwalk through a half life, then die. How much harder it can be to walk forward on the other side of freedom, still facing ahead, still trusting the God they could not see or touch. That is the hardest thing of all...but for freedom** they had been set free, not necessarily for ease. And God chose to do something completely unrealistic. He parted the very Sea that was blocking their path. All they had to do was walk through it. Then he had that Sea drown the enemy hotly pursuing them. They just had to walk forward. They had a Promised Land to get to. (And then they still had battles to face, a whole slew of "-ites" to fight and conquer, because the "-ites" were taking over their land...but if I get into that it will take all night, and I am already tired.)
If we believe that this same God lives within us, WHY do we not believe that He will part the Sea for us when we are stuck between impossible seas and a fast approaching enemy army who wants to re enslave us? I think we don't see and understand how desperate we actually are. I want to never forget that I am always exactly that desperate, and I want the kind of faith that says "God, I am not turning back around, though it would be the easiest thing in the world to turn back and be lulled into sleepy half life slavery where the food is bland but familiar. I am facing forward, believing you can part the sea, I am taking a step, even if it means my toes get wet, even if my knees get wet, because I am that desperate, and you are my only hope, and I want to believe in what is completely not realistic. I want to believe in the miracles I have yet to experience."
But I don't see many people who seem to be living in their Promised Land. I don't even think that a lot of people believe in their Promised Land; I think that many people are content to be in the desert eating manna, just wandering and wandering from one class or workshop to another, in their pure non mixed fabrics. and really, who can blame them, manna is delicious, and 100% cotton clothing is comfortable and easily breathable in the the dry dusty desert. But I digress.
A lot of people are content to remain slaves to things they don't even realize they are enslaved by, and things they do realize they are enslaved by...because anything other would require them to wake up, and get up, and start thinking, and making choices. Freedom can be the most awkwardly uncomfortable transition of all... But once you go through it, oh man, once you go through it...
I'll tell you when I get there, but I'm pretty sure the food rocks.

*Matthew 16:19, then repeated in Matthew it must be important.
**Romans 8:21, just one of many.

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