I call with my whole heart; answer me, O LORD. Psalm 119:145
The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says “Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked – the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
We try; God transforms. Richard Foster, Devotional Classics
Embrace. Ann Voskamp, “When New Year’s Resolutions Seem Hopeless”
So yesterday, following the Voskamp’s Joy Dare, I was supposed to be grateful for three things I overheard. Which reminds me tons of Gideon, my go-to-guy who follows God in spite of his very much I-believe-help-my-unbelief sort of faith, and when he was looking for a little courage as he prepared to battle the Midianites and Amalekites and all the children of the who were like grasshoppers for multitude, and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude, he and his buddy snuck down to the camp and overheard a conversation between two soldiers about a dream and a barley loaf.
And Gideon’s response was worship.
The battle had not even taken place yet, but it was the LORD’s.
Which is a pretty cool word, if you look at it for very long. All His. Consecrated. Hallowed. Sanctified.
And I didn’t really overhear anything yesterday. Even though I tried.
But all eyeballs were on me as I stepped into The Iron Fist.
· And the principal sat with the kiddos (lots of them) during lunchtime detention so I could get a little bathroom and pizza break from ten hours with weary seventh graders.
· And just as I was about to cave in at the very end, a teacher came and stood next to me and whispered words of encouragement.
· And all of my phone call homes were to very supportive parents.
· And Meg. Dear Meg. She read my little billowingsunrises musing about not even knowing what was for dinner and when I got home there was a crockpot of chili with corn and noodles and meat and beans and a packet of sharp cheddar cheese and a dozen cornmeal muffins waiting for me.
And so may I enter into thanksgiving before this day begins.
Worshipping the God Who Is Not Bound by Time, and Who knows the rest of the story.
The One Who Whispers “Embrace” every time my soul is quiet.
Splish, splash, to overflowing.
No holding back.