Sunday, June 21, 2009

Simple Faith

For Father's Day, I gave Bjorn a CD by Johnny Cash called "My Mother's Hymns." (Aidan took him to a Gilbert & Sullivan play, which they said was hysterical.) The listening came after I'd been reading about someone's spiritual journey to Christ, away from Him, back to Him, and now kinda in limbo. And I tend to be surrounded by "deep theological discussion" with an intellectual husband, books about God, various other places, etc. I think it's almost an epidemic these days that we (myself included -- heck, I started this blog, didn't I?) have this compulsive "need" to dissect everything about our lives, including our walk with Christ.

I think it's important to examine our lives, our difficulties, to know what we think and believe and why we think and believe these things.

And yet it was SOOOOO refreshing to just sit and listen to these simple hymns tonight and reflect on the days when people just lived their lives with Jesus already integrated into them, just by virtue of their love and gratitude to Him.

One of the songs on the album is "He Reached Down." It's not one I was familiar with. But this is the one that really struck me -- just the simple beauty of telling how lost I was and how Jesus reached down and found me. Not that I reached up to Him, but that He reached down to me. The core and crux of it all. So simple. It made me wonder why we spend so much time dissecting, hashing and rehashing point after theological point. I guess it's because that's the way the World does things, and in order to reach the World we have to be able to meet them on their intellectual level. But, I don't know. The simple love of Jesus never changes. It was what the heart of mankind needed 2000 years ago, and it's still exactly what we need. His love reaching down to us. Pure. Simple. (And, as an aside, that's the best way to reach people for Him, I suspect -- not that I'm an expert, because I tend to keep myself in my little protective shell -- but it does make perfect sense. I don't really know anyone who was ever "argued" into the kingdom of Heaven, although my intellectual husband did take "convincing." Still, without God's love showing through me in ways beyond the wife-husband, or even friend-friend relationship, I don't think all the "convincing" in the world would have mattered.)

I really do get weary of all the arguments, discussions, this-vs-that, pontificating, etc. I know I participate in it, have my opinions, think I'm surely right, and want so badly to convince everyone else of it -- right? I mean, I think a lot of us do. But what an awesome thing it would be to just FOCUS on JESUS -- to "turn [our] eyes upon" Him, as the old hymn says, to just spend our days living for HIM instead of trying to figure out this thing and that thing and arguing and convincing.

And I think living for Him is just as simple as going about our lives with the awareness that He is always near, with an attitude of thanksgiving to Him for all that He has done for me, for reaching down to me; and keeping focused on Him instead of on ourselves. Wait, did I say simple? That last thing is very, very hard.

Well, anyway, it all boils down to grace in the end, doesn't it? Grace for salvation, grace for everyday living, grace to see the brokenness in others that makes them do things and behave in ways that cause me to want to judge them.

And even though it wasn't on the album, I am soooo grateful for God's "grace that is greater than all my sin."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Experiencing technical difficulties ...

Well, not technical difficulties, technically. More like spiritual difficulties. Or maybe it's just authorial difficulties. Whatever it is, I haven't been particularly inspired of late. As you can tell.

Although I will tell you I have not been a Very Good Girl lately. I slandered my husband all over my Facebook page (no, I will not be your friend if I don't already know you). I had the world's worst attitude about helping with VBS. I have been a control freak, a Diva Princess, an Emo Queen, a spoiled brat, a judgmental snot ... oh, and I was sick for a couple of weeks, too.

*SIGH* I really do wonder sometimes how God puts up with me, why He doesn't just point His finger at me and go "poof! you're outta here!" and fry me like a fly in a magnifying glass-focused sunbeam.

Then I'll be listening to the Christian stuff on my MP3 player and come across this one by the Newsboys:

"Great is Your faithfulness to carry on with a sinner like me;
Oh, and great is Your faithfulness, turning shame into victory.
Your grace has never let me be,
Your mercy's waiting patiently.
Oh, so great is Your faithfulness to carry on with a sinner like me ..."

Yeah. Amen, brothers. Amen, and amen again.