This morning has been “off”, you know what I mean? One of those mornings when if it could go wrong it did and even though we got up on time it was a mad scramble to the door to be on time for school. Pulling into the garage I felt as if a shell of calmness and peace fell around me when the garage door closed. So I am still sitting in my car as I write this blog today.
Following God, following Him regardless of the consequences, challenges, course changes and costs, well, I don’t find it easy most of the time. Honestly, do you? Does anyone?
Sitting in the church pew I think about this often. Our music minister, choir, instrumentalists, and pastor pray and devote time to helping create an atmosphere of true worship every service, year round. That’s not easy, I know because I’ve walked in some of their shoes. When there, among all the other believers, worshipping and learning about God and doing His will it seems so” do-able”, so straightforward.
But lately, at church, in Bible study, in my quiet time there’s been something “off”, much like our morning routine today. I’ve searched my heart and prayed and waited for direction, for answers, for that still quiet voice.
Instead, so far, I have heard the buzz of giant bees in my head. Buzz, buzz, buzz…all the new things I’ve learned researching for pieces to write on this blog are buzzing to find a place in the relationship Jesus and I have together. And, I admit, one of those bees is more than a little angry, frustrated, annoyed, distrustful and sad. Another is timid, afraid yet still buzzing to be heard and understood. Seriously, how do you walk so firmly in harmony with God that the buzzing ceases? Or fades? Or the individual bees find what they need and are in harmony with the nature around them?
As Christians we are so often quick to point to formulas, and programs, and service to our church and community to help people, even ourselves, quiet the bees. The realities of prayer, Bible study, meditation on God’s word, worship and praise can’t be ignored. They are necessary and vital to our God relationship.
Sometimes though the realities of life and the essentials of being an authentic Christian don’t mix well at all. Some days the two are in such different places it is like they are on totally different roads. But isn’t THAT the way?
The world pulls one way, Jesus leads to another.
The world tries to please everybody and Jesus says please me.
The world has seemingly lost respect for human life and Jesus knew us and knit us together in our mother’s wombs.
The world is going left Jesus tells us go right.
The world and all people are flawed, Jesus is perfect and was so even as a flesh and blood man on earth over 2000 years ago.
The world waves wads of cash, houses, cars, expensive “stuff” at us and says this makes you a success, Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow Him.
We live in this world and we cannot always escape the consequences of doing so. What happens in our government, financial institutions, education programs, and even the entertainment industry rains down on US all. Even in the oldest religious institutions and churches man’s living in this world has made marks.
In the name of God, religions, and churches awful things have occurred. Things that are the result of man’s twisting things to suit the world view not Jesus’.
And that’s why it is hard most of the time to quiet the bees, to find a shell of peace and calm among all the things and stuff of the world, because life happens to us all. Your morning routine is blown to smithereens and you’re anxiously watching the minutes tick by as you drive your child to school or scramble off to work yourself. The washing machine breaks down and you have piles of laundry demanding to be done. Money is stretched until it is screaming and there’s only enough food in the house for today, or maybe not at all. Your mother finds out she has cancer. Your wife is diagnosed with a rare medical disorder. You or your spouse loses your job. Your husband admits he has an addiction to pornography. Your teenage son fathers a child. Your sixth grader steals a cell phone because you said he couldn’t have one yet. Your baby is born needing a heart transplant. You learn that there are things you’ve not been told from the pulpits of your church you think you deserved to know, that would have made huge differences earlier in your life. You want something so badly but you are so afraid of rejection you deny God and yourself what is one of the reasons He created you.
This is life, angry bees, timid bees, incessant bees, needy bees, “oops” bees…yes, my morning was hectic and crazy (don’t forget I am still in my car in the garage) and yes, I have decisions to make that I am struggling with and oh, yes, I have my buzzing bees…
It’s all good.
“I am what I am by the grace of God…”
“…the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable…”
“…I will show you my faith by my works…”
“God works all things together for good to those who love the Lord…” Romans 8:28
“…my yoke is easy and my burden light…”
So sorry I can’t give you all the scripture references I have used today. My garage needs a Bible if it is going to be my new writing habitat!