Easy question – Hard answer.

Your great knowledge is still foolishness to God.

Yes, I just said that.

Your degree. Your street smarts. Your experiences, all the books you read, all the people you talked with, all the practice you’ve done, all the teachers you listened to, all the business deals you’ve made, all the people you’ve managed well, and all the successes you’ve had – all that knowledge wrapped into one big sticky and wonderful ball is just foolishness compared to what God knows.

Your best thought out plans – advisers and all – are just hopeless and foolish compared to the plans God has for you. The good plans He has for you.

The good plans He has for me.

So why is it that I so easily rely on my thoughts and ideas and that somewhere in the back of my mind I say, “I got this God! I don’t need to pray about this today.”?

Why is it that we believe we’re sufficient for the task?

Why is it that we automatically assume our plans are more reliable than the ones He claims He has for us?

When we can look around and clearly see that He can create better stuff than we can even with our best efforts.

Even with clean precise designs Apple and Samsung still lack the strength and delicacy that each or any of Gods small insects holds….

With the worlds top minds wrapped around creating efficient and innovative technology the devices still lack the clarity and self sufficient and meaningful identity in the universe that the most simple celled organism possesses…

A simple apple seed clearly proves the lack we posses in creating regenerative life.

Yes, we with our God made image have learned many amazing things and have developed the ability to do amazing things as Gods spirit has allowed us to.

This, is the reality.

That outside of Gods will we remain inefficient and dull in our understanding.

Seeing Gods unfathomable ability to create amazing and wonderful things should impart a sense of faith and unbridled hope in us. And yet, in our sinful nature we resist and even feel a sense of anger admitting this!

We would rather be self sufficient; stuck in our inferior and foolish ways and ideas.

We happily choose this over the promises Gods made to each and every one of us: that He is the way, the truth, and the life. That apart from Him we can do nothing.

That He loves us

That He has good plans

That He is not out to harm us

That His burden is light

That in Him we can find rest

That He is gentle and kind and unfailing

That with Him is safety and peace

That He’s trustworthy

Why is that?

Why do we so easily reject that for our own foolishness???

…Maybe because we’re foolish?

Let’s pray for open eyes. Let’s pray for understanding and wisdom. Let’s pray for a quickening of our hearts to hear Him. Let’s thank Him for His goodness and His patience.

…Do you know that He claims this? Claims longsuffering? That it is part of His character? Putting up with your and my foolishness?

…and the apostle Paul exhorted us to rejoice always claiming it was a safeguard for us.

When I read what Paul is trying to say in the early chapters of Philippians when he calls for believers to rejoice it seems that it is because of Gods work in and thru the believers for the unity in their relationship with one another.

And our ability to rejoice in what God is doing is directly related to our trust/faith/belief in who God is and what He promises and what He’s doing and plans to do.

And as we trust that He’s working it all out for our good and rejoicing that He’s got it – therefore casting all our anxieties back into His lap trusting and rejoicing that He’s taking care of all the details for our good – we are able to enjoy relationship with other believers without comparison or competition because each of us is walking according to our calling. And we can likewise rejoice and pray with faith over every success and every worry that our brother or sister in Christ has.

Unity.

Enjoying something in ways we would have never conjured.

Creating an unearthly being which functions by sacrifice … A being that attains by sacrifice.

As we give, we gain.

As we leap, we survive.

The foolishness of God is still wiser than the wisest of all mans attempts.

As we rely, not on our own understanding, but in committing our way to God we experience heaven on earth. We attain a wisdom that is not survival of the fittest- gain by taking everything we can – but a wisdom that says if I love you as I love myself, and as you love me as you love yourself, then and only then do I receive and experience true love from another being.

And that is the foolishness of God in Christ who came and gave up everything for us so that we might experience life, and that abundantly.

Who could imagine that life only comes thru death?

Jesus made this clear when He said, “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is, destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”

And again, “For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it.”

…Your great knowledge is still foolishness to God.

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*featured photo credit to: EgbertBotha

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Fri-nally

My friend Rachel over at bigcitysmallworldblog did this whensday thing and it was so lovely – I tried to do a similar thing … But I just can’t imitate her and make it genuinely mine.

so today I say this “Fri-nally” post on Propel Women’s Facebook site and I thought…. Hmmm, can I pull off this and make it mine?!

…..

It is fri-nally August and honestly I really had nothing to look forward to in August.

Also there is little that I’ve accomplished this year of all the things I’d hoped to have done or be doing by now.

I realized that I rarely set goals these days due to avoiding disappointment.

Part of me feels that’s good since I just stick to doing what I am supposed to be doing and what I’ve given my word to do.

I’ve limited who knows I’m here and thus who I hang out with. I’ve gone to church without skipping. I’ve made my tithes, and attended bible study/community group. I’ve gotten up for work and taught my classes. I take my shower, throw out the trash, clean mandatorily, purge my fridge, and do the laundry.

I write “happy birthday” messages. I call my family as often as I can muster myself to do.

And I get my sleep.

Partly I’m adulting.

Then today I read an article from the desiringGod website on Life Hacking. About how we can go through the rituals of being good. Hacking being a Christian.

I don’t want to be that way. But how do I throw off this lethargic cloak?

I’ve been having these really deep encounters with the Lord…

encounters that I thought would throw the projection of my life into the center of His will for me.

But then I wake up on Saturday and I feel like in just another night I’ll enter another week where I’ll do my best to skim through unnoticed. Do my work and make no inconveniences for anyone and get to the next Saturday with enough money to make it to church.

My friend Ross Boone on his site rawspoon wrote, “I’ve starved my longings, because it hurts too much to have them.”

“I say those things to myself to allay the straining of the bungee cord grappling hook I had thrown into his heart from my own. Oh the ache and twang I could let myself feel for that boy if I let it.

And I remember how moments like that used to make me cry, and the hook would be pulling on me for a whole day after. But I learned to sever those cords with cold words of reality and logic, because it just hurt too much.

…Later

…But I tell myself, “She’s probably married,” and “slim chance she’s a Christian.” And, “I’m happy being single.”

And I realize again I have learned to neuter my deepest feelings with well sharpened scalpels of reality and logic.

…it just hurt too much to keep breathing it in. So parts of me stopped breathing.

And I don’t know a better way to do it. Because these are the realities of this world. She probably really is married, and the boy probably can’t talk well to me. I don’t know what I can do, except to be aware, be patient, and be ready to fully consume the opportunity to help, or to love, if it ever freely gives itself to me.”

I couldn’t relate more.

Always.

Every moment of my life I feel this. So I try and stave it off when randomly I smile at someone and say hello. When I randomly try to cheerup a stranger. When I embarrass people by reaching out because I’ve seen something…

and realize even then, with what I’ve done, that there’s nothing I can do.

Is my longings having death rattles? I don’t want to keep starving it…but fear of disappointment and unfulfillment has kept me from honest prayer about it.

So Lord, finally I’m ready to pray for my longings again.

What are they Lord?

What have I forgotten since I was a child?

It’s been so long since I’ve yearned for anything.

The yoke of my sin and my parents sin is too heavy to bear. The way they’ve worked away the appetite I had for life until I became no longer sure of what I was alive for. Until I stopped hoping or desiring anything but temporary immediate satisfactions.

Lord, awaken a hunger for your will. Awaken in me all you’ve created me to be. By the power of the HolySpirit may I overflow with hope as I trust in You!

 

 

Contemplations…

A friend’s leaving … and she wrote a blog about her last months before leaving, about processing that grief, about feelings that can be explained and the reality that’s actually in the middle of them – undefinable – and about exhaustion, and about emotional bandwidth and -emotional draining questions that just wear you thin and ragged.

And in the honest freedom of her words I found something about myself.

I realized that growing up I was never allowed to move into a new thing without a lot of guilt. That there was never a lack of criticizing and demeaning words to send me on my journey. That there was always an emotional manipulation from my parents and a choice between growth and my choice and thoughts/opinion and their affection for me.

That even something as simple as choosing my next semester of classes came at the cost of their love for me.

So I could choose passive slavery to staying at home and cleaning for them and waiting hand and foot on their every whim, or I could choose classes to finish my degree and move onto something – anything that I could imagine doing. Onto exploring life thru interacting with people, or stay in the good graces of my parents.

There was never a free moment in my time or in my emotions unless I opened a book and fell away into their words; unless I closed my internal eyes and fell into the imagination of the death that had taken hold in my mind.

Unless I ended my life.

It was a constant ride of adrenaline fueled by fear and a stubbornness not to give up on the life I hated.

Everything changed when I moved away to college the second time and roommates that loved the Lord, and thus me.

Healing came in so many ways. Healing I had to avoid my parents for.

But reading my friends blog made me realize that finishingandleaving or goingandstarting anything had not changed for me.

Every time I leave somewhere I tell whoever I have to and not a soul more. I drive into the night and don’t look back. I buy the plane ticket and I go and arrive silently without a soul knowing. I do it anonymously. With great relief I arrive without anyone knowing, and I wean people back into my life without any special events.

I can’t stand people knowing.

I can’t take the emotional upheaval. I turn a blind eye even to my own actions. I do it as ignorantly as possible.

Try to remain as unaware as I can.

I feel like I’m skimming along life as silently and unobtrusively as a shadow. I try to remain unnoticed – not realizing that I am noticeable.

Deep down I want to believe that if I disappear nothing changes for anyone but me.

I suppose that I live with a suicidal mindset.

A mindset where I don’t matter.

I’m sorry for being that way. Sneaking in and sneaking out.

I didn’t realize until now why I so desperately can’t handle saying goodbye.

(Do you struggle to say goodbye?)


^featured photo attributed to: KelseyBurford