Tag Archives: prayer

My Last Post as Spiritual Drift

This will be my last post as Spiritual Drift.

I can no longer find the words.

Since my last post, and given the current climate of our nation, both politically and spiritually, I simply can’t think of anything I can say that would make one tinker’s damn bit of difference. To anyone. To anywhere.

We’ve grown too busy shouting, too comfortably entrenched in our own dystopian universes to worry about the lost art of communication. We run around shouting that the sky is falling, never seeing that it isn’t our God who created that sky, it was us. We are being crushed by gods of our own making. We’ve grown fearful of every shadow because the light of the world has grown too dim if it hasn’t been totally extinguished, never recalling that we were supposed to be that light.

I weep for my country.

I weep that a statue stands at our shore and says, “”Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I weep that our founding document includes the words, “all men are created equal”.

And I weep that no one cares.

I weep for my religion.

I weep that my scripture says, “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the stranger by giving him food and clothing. Therefore, show your love for the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
And says, “Love your neighbor as yourself”.
And says, “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”

And I weep that no one cares.

I weep for the “less than”, for the oppressed, the alone, the wounded and weak, the disabled. I weep for people of color, and people of poverty.

I weep for the poor in spirit, and for those who mourn. I weep for the meek, and those who are hungry and thirst for righteousness. I weep for the merciful, the pure in heart, and for the peacemakers.

And I weep that no one cares.

No, I take that back.

A lot of people care. We just care more about being heard than about hearing. We seem to be caring more for our rights, for our liberties, for our needs, and for our selves.

We care more about the external than the eternal.

We care more for those things that moth and rust destroy, that thieves can break in and steal.

We equate acceptance with approval.

We equate immigrant with enemy.

We equate poverty with work ethic.

We equate disability with worthlessness.

We equate need with weakness.

We equate conservativism with oppression, and liberalism with anarchy.

We have lost the fine art of nuance, and we’ve forgotten that we live in a world of gray and not one of black and white.

And mostly I weep that there is no one to talk to. No one who will withhold judgment. No one who will simply listen. No one who will do the hard work of caring, and who will face the hard truth that we, yes WE dear Americans and dear Christians, are as much to blame for the state of our world as are our supposed enemies, and probably more.

I have no words.

I am at a loss.

And thus, this will be my last post as Spiritual Drift.

God help us all.

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Even Through This S@*#, I Still Believe In God

depressionIt seems that I’ve been rolling in some new emotional turmoil over the last few days. Mining the depths of some newfound psychological…whatever.
I say “new” because I know I’ve experienced bouts of anger, and frustration, and doubt, and questioning at certain times, in certain situations; and this isn’t any of those. Those other things have sources. They have causes. They have answers. For the most part.

This? I have no idea where it came from, and it took me up to yesterday to finally put a finger on what it is that I think I’m dealing with here…

It’s depression.

And the thing I’m discovering (and those who suffer from recurrent depression will probably nod their heads in agreement) is that there really is no reason for it. It just…is. Continue reading Even Through This S@*#, I Still Believe In God

The River of My Dreams

river
photo credit: Derek Haller/Heart of Nature Photography

There is this dream I have. A vision whenever I prayed.

I was being carried along by a rushing river. A real torrent of waves and whitewater; the riverbanks speeding by in a blur as I bobbed and flailed.

Then I’d see Jesus on the side of the shore and I’d reach my hand out. He’d grasp ahold and, depending on my life situation at the time, I’d feel as though he and I were barely hanging on to each other, or he would pull me ashore, soaked, gasping for breath, laying on the rocks and sand looking up at the sky wild-eyed and out of breath.

This was how I had always viewed my life, my salvation, and the saving power of Christ.

Is that how you see yourself? Your “Life in Christ”? Your salvation?

Is your prayer life something akin to “Dear God, help me hold on to you for dear life”?

I’ve also been doing a lot of reading lately. A couple key books, along with some scripture, particularly through Hebrews and Romans. And I’m only now beginning to realize one thing:

I’ve been wrong.

Wrong about my salvation.
Wrong about my image, wrong about my relationship with Jesus, and wrong about the rushing torrent that I saw as my life.

Only now am I beginning to see that I’m not being carried along by the flood waters of life.

I’ve been standing on the shore the whole time. With Jesus.

And I have been since I first called on his name all those years ago. Dry. Warm. Standing beside him. Standing behind him; the savior who pulled me from that river the moment I called on his name.

I haven’t been lost in those waters since.

What I envisioned were only flashbacks to the old me, the old life, the life I held before my salvation. The enemy, sin, the flesh, whatever you want to call it, is the one keeping those images at the fore of my mind. Only now am I beginning to see that that’s not me in those waters. That person doesn’t exist any longer.

I’ve been standing on the shore. The. Whole. Time.

I don’t know if you realize how freeing that is.

To be honest, there’s a bit of melancholy as I look back to all the time I kept imagining that it was me out there. But I’m not sad. I’m not beating myself up over all that “wasted” salvation.

I am who I am because of all that I’ve gone through. I wouldn’t change a thing. If I did, I may not be the man I am today. Maybe better. Maybe worse. But I wouldn’t be me.

Thank you Jesus, for hauling me ashore all those years ago.
Thank you for the slow revelation of my standing with you on the shoreline.

Oh, the river is still there.

Sometimes I dip my toes. Sometimes I dive headlong back into the current. But I’ve never stayed.

Jesus is still right there along the shore. Looking at me as I wade from the water, cold and dripping. Shaking his head with a quirky smile on his face like, “You idiot!”.

But there’s no condemnation in his eyes; only the inevitability of how he made me. He knows that. He expects it.

Now, I look back at him with a cheesy, chagrined look and an, “I know, I know.”

So he hands me a towel, and dry clothes. Because my spot beside him, behind him, is still there. It always will be.

And yours is right here, too. Along with your own towel. And dry clothes.

There may even be a camp fire nearby.

I need to do a little more exploring there, along the shore of the river. After all, I kind of like it there, and I plan on staying.

The Doubter and the Resurrection

I came across this quote from Benjamin Moberg at registeredrunaway.com in a post entitled “The Doubter and the Resurrection”. I have felt this way myself on a few occasions, especially lately, and I thought it worth passing on:

“Presently, I am nearing the edge of my own wasteland, so I am stopping, staying, because this is where I believe we are meant to be. Here, in the tension. The place I turn and turn with questions is the same place I also find consecrated ground. I speak in unexpected hymns. I feel completely authentic. I am not the first.”

Also included is a passage from Greg Boyd’s book, Benefit of the Doubt:

As is apparent in so many Old Testament heroes, the faith of Habakkuk was obviously nothing like the certainty-seeking, doubt-shunning faith of so many today. Instead of avoiding cognitive dissonance by piously slapping the “mystery” label on an apparent contradiction, Habakkuk boldly goes to the mat with God. This is the kind of faith these descendants of Jacob were “blessed” with. And far from being offended by this raw honesty, God is the One who blessed them with it! This apparently is precisely the kind of honest relationship, and the kind of honest faith, God is looking for!

Boyd, Gregory A. (2013-09-15). Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty (p. 83). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.