Friday, June 17, 2016

Gateway to silence.

Gateway to silence: Guide me on the further journey.

Open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice, but you take no delight in burnt offerings. The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; and a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:16–18

It seems we don't really believe what the cross teaches us--that the pattern of death and resurrection is true for us too, that we must die in a foundational way or any talk of "rebirth" makes no sense. I don't know anything else that's strong enough to force you and me to let go of our ego. Somehow our game has to fall apart. However we've defined ourselves as successful, moral, better than, right, good, on top of it, number one . . . has to fail. It just has to. –Richard Rohr

Holy Ghost, with love divine,
Shine upon this heart of mine:
Chase the shades of night away,
Turn my darkness into day.
Holy Ghost, with power divine,
Cleanse this guilty heart of mine:
Bid my many woes depart,
Heal my wounded, bleeding heart.
Holy Spirit, all divine,
Dwell within this heart of mine:
Cast down every idol throne,
Reign supreme—and reign alone. -A. Reed

Lord, take my heart, for I cannot give it to You. And when you have it, keep it. For I would not take it from You. François Fénelon

We are ditching the pounding sun today, our poor old skin fried yesterday as we walked up and down and all around the countryside with the vague hope that perhaps a bus would pass us by. Smearing sunscreen again and again just didn’t cut it. And it’s a good thing, to sit here quietly overlooking the Adrian Sea, reflecting.

Guide me on the further journey.

And I review my faint Sunday School memory of those maps whose importance I never particularly understood: the first missionary journey of Paul, the second missionary journey of Paul, the third missionary journey of Paul and the journey to Rome; but it seemed really important to Mrs. Wetmore, my Sunday School teacher with the flannel graphs.

Maybe because it reminds us that Paul was a real person, beyond his mythical properties. On his second missionary journey he sailed these very seas. He walked these same stony mountains. Rested under these same saltcedars in respite from this same sun. Drank this same sour wine.

His journey. And I read Thessalonians. And Corinthians. And it seems that Paul too was on a journey, a deepening of His understanding of the Spirit’s guidance and truth. Reign supreme—and reign alone.

Make us strong and courageous, God, to do the new thing, because You are not the God of I was but You are the God I am and You are doing a new thing and that thing is unfolding right now in us will unfold in thousands of places around the world as we walk out our doors and into dangerous lives.

Make us daily pray for character greater than our calling and for a humility great than our work. –Ann Voskamp

And the Joy Dare today was to give thanksgiving for three things about my dad. And yesterday, after I popped into a laundry mat to inquire about washing our oft-worn clothes, I told Mary Anne another story about my parents, how they used to own and run a laundrymat. And how my mother and father washed and folded the clothes of strangers to support their family while they printed Bible lessons in a bunch of different languages and missionary newsletters. My father the valedictorian of Vanderbilt chemical engineering program who was the Navel officer and rocket scientist who worked with NASA and my mother the marketing major from Syracuse University who was the beautiful Bohemian in San Francisco that worked for C&H Sugar.

Humility. I thank my mom and dad for humility lived and breathed day in and day out. For driving up to the Grand Canyon to meet five dirty college students climbing out over the rim and drive them to a hotel room that they rented just so they could take showers and be taken out to dinner before they got into the car to drive all the way to Santa Barbara that night and fall asleep in the sun on the beach. (That was the last time I was sunburned, so I kinda remembered that story yesterday.)

Humility. All those Saturdays hauling a trailer loaded up with flour and beans and boxes of donated shoes behind the blue Chrysler station wagon across the Tijuana border. With four little kids. Saturday after Saturday chasing cockroaches out of pantries, sort of scrubbing out latrines and kneeling in the dirty dust fitting shoes onto very dirty dusty feet.

And as I seek His guidance on this journey, I echo Peter, To Whom shall I go? You have the words of life. Seth Barnes wrote a meditation today entitled, “Say Yes to God.” And it all begins with saying YES. Yes to going on a journey with Jesus that has its roots in Matthew 10. Yes to choosing to travel with a group of people who are as messy as we are. Yes to choosing to go through the pain so that we can walk in freedom. And yes to setting the captives free. We need to know that this YES in our spirits has some steel in it. Our lives go by so quickly. What else are we going to do but follow our Creator?

Guide me on the further journey.

Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say, “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No.  For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, was not Yes and No, but in Him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory. 2 Corinthians 1:17-20

Guide me on the further journey.
Yes and Amen.