Gung-ho for God

So here’s the thing with God and Jesus and all of it:

You have to be all in.

You have to be all for it, all into it, and you have to be sort of an all-or-nothing on this.

This sounds strange and like something you cannot relate to, I know.  It’s peculiar, like those people on busy, bustling downtown street corners, yelling at you to repent of your sinful, movie-going ways; it sounds like this is a message coming from one of those funky-looking vans, complete with a megaphone attached to the roof, it sounds like I mean hell and fire and brimstone and the second coming.

This isn’t that.

What I’m saying is this-you’ve got to be all gung-ho about this, and lay all those cards on the table, not hold any close to your chest or up your sleeves, no matter how badly you may want to.

I’ve been studying 1 Corinthians 13 lately, and it’s good and it reflects this all-in, lay-your-cards on-the-table thought.  You know these verses, and probably by heart: it’s “those verses” that everyone usually has someone read at their wedding-“Love is patient, love is kind…”.  It’s those verses, the ones we all valiantly aspire to be on our wedding day, those verses we hope to God we all have present in our marriages and in the treatment of our spouses.  It’s those verses, the ones we also think are slightly unrealistic; those verses I personally wonder sometimes if they are even attainable, especially on the days I am mean, grouchy and tired, the days that I am anything but patient, kind and long-suffering.

So, these verses, to sum it up quickly and way too easily: love is key.  And if you have that, you have everything.  And if you don’t, you have nothing.

If you ain’t got love, you’ve got nothing.  Nothing.

You could be the most faithful person ever, the holiest of holies, have all the verses in the Bible memorized and ready to convert anyone at any time.  But if you don’t have love, none of this matters.   Even if your heart is in the right place, that you mean to help someone but don’t have love, are you truly following Christ’s example?  Or are you merely a statistician, trying to meet a quota of making sure people understand God’s love, without actually loving them first?

I would say the latter.  Not of course, because I don’t like you (I like you a lot actually, especially if you are reading and sharing this blog, hint-hint), but if you’re just spewing off things about the Bible, Christianity, how people should be or what they should do, it’s not really about the love-the love of people, the love for people, or the love of God.

I’m not saying you’re not awesome, you are; simply because of the fact that you were made by a Creator that loves you and that alone makes you worthy.

But, if you think that your role as a Christian is just trying to point the people in the right direction without loving them first, you are truly missing the point.

And might I add-you’re also missing out on a vast amount of love, life, laughter, tears and the very fullness, richness and beautifully imperfect experience of life along the way.

Advertisements

Swiss cheese life

My life: it’s all swiss cheese and gift wrap at the moment. The translation? It’s sort of messy.

I liken it to swiss cheese: holey, missing parts-and somedays-it’s like there is not enough caulk in the world to patch the holes I keep stumbling upon, unaware.

This same sort of thing happens to me often around Christmas too; the literal sense of how I feel most days.

I, proudly thinking that I have prepared well enough for all the gift wrapping to come, that I have calculated out the correct density and height of whatever I’m wrapping, and have enough paper to more than cover all sides of the gift, proceed to arrogantly cut the paper to wrap the gift, only to behold this: the paper does not meet in the middle.

It doesn’t match up.

So, then in an instant, I realize I have to patch in some random gift wrap paper (because somehow, I always use the last bit of the gift wrap that would actually match it), all the while cussing and sweating and trying to figure out where I miscalculated, where I could have gone so wrong with the whole gift to gift wrapping paper ratio.

And then I usually sigh.

And that’s kind of where I’m at right now: a great deal of sighing, some holes and unsightly gaps in my life needing some patching, and a whole lot of gift wrap not meeting in the middle, not lining up nicely, where it should.

Oh, should. That nasty, guilty word.

And most of the time, it feels like all of this means that I don’t add up; that somehow others have figured out the answers to these sorts of problems, that they are smarter than me and somehow are able to guesstimate gift wrap and can get their gift wrap seams (and also: their lives) to measure up in some way that I cannot.

Not everyday is like this, but lately it seems a constant challenge. Some days the holes are pinpricks and paper cuts, and some days they feel like they gnaw at the very foundation of me, like the way a termite goes after wood.

Thankfully, though-I’m not alone in this.

Certainly I’m not the only one whose life is messy, not the only one whose laundry basket is generously overflowing but whose patience is running thin and low.

Not the only one, right? Right?  

And though I am so uncertain, so fragile at times, I am solidly certain of this: that God is here.

That Jesus cares.

And loves me, even me with the gift wrap calculation problems, even me with the more-holey-than-holy-swiss-cheese life, and is even ok with that giant laundry basket that seems to consume more dirty clothes by the hour.

This makes all the difference in the world.

This helps me, especially on those days that I stare off into the sunset and wonder, those tough days I want to shake my fists at the sky and say “This better be a really good lesson!”

Jesus loves me, even through that.  And that is awesome.

Even the turtles race past me

So, lately I’ve made a realization.

I need to take this whole blogging thing slower.

Yes, you heard me.  Slower.

I understand I am already slower than snail-like when it comes to posts; I post 3-4 times a month and I am asking you, dearest 86 readers, to be patient with me while I learn to balance life and work and writing and take it slower than watching grass grow.

I’d love for you all to stick around, check in on the 15th and 30th, when I’ve committed to writing new posts; but I understand that this is real life.  A lot of you don’t have the time to be patient with someone who moves in millimeters worth of time instead of the usual yards everyone else covers in a day.

That’s ok.  I get that.

Here’s the thing: I don’t want to lose any of you all, dear readers, or any of the “progression” I’ve made with this writing thing. I understand that although I may want to gain more and more readers for this honest, truthful post, I also that this may be a daydream, and there will be some potential fallout of some people who would rather have new content from me weekly.  I totally get that and don’t blame you for that feeling.

However, my life is out of balance at the moment, and the one thing I really want to do superbly at in life is to love well is exactly the thing I’m not doing well.

So I have to take another step back.  And focus on life and work and my family and laundry.  Yep, that ugly, big, growing laundry monster.

Is the laundry really more important than writing you ask?

Of course not.

However, if I am truly going to love well- the one big, beautiful thing I want people to remember about me-sometimes doing the laundry and keeping everyone in non-wrinkly clothes is a part of that.

And same goes for the dishes. Sigh.

But, enough about me.

Just wanted to let you all know to check back in on the 15th and the 30th.

Hope to have some really good stuff for you then.

Liz