Monday, July 25, 2011

Whispers to my heart

What is beautiful in a day? What makes a thought worthwhile? What makes a good story really good? I think I have part of an answer, because I think anything that claims to be the whole answer is either to broad to really dig into or too shallow to be true.

I think the part of an answer that came to me today is change; the good kind. It's growth in the ways of our Heavenly Father. It's his Word; sharpening us, tooling, and refining. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 This refining can come in very many forms, but the way it came to me today was in whispers.

Whispers can easily get lost in the shuffle. People will respond with, "what?" or not at all sometimes. Those of us with small voices sometimes feel like we must be whispering because of how many times what we say goes unheard. But God's whispers, those are different. They slip right through the noise, like a knife through cake. They'll separate your emotions from the reality of a situation like a torpedo separates a ship from the water. Hebrews 4:12

When the Word of God pierces you through, to the division of soul and spirit, two things happen. Part of you dies, and part of you comes wholly alive. Both are beautiful, wonderful things to experience; because through it we grow closer to what we were originally intended to be: God fearing, God loving, God worshiping beings that have unity with God and with fellow children of God through the Spirit and through Love.

There were three whispers for me today. The first came as I ate breakfast and read through my daily Bible reading plan. Romans 10:8-10 says: "But what does it say? 'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.' (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and with the mouth one confesses and is saved."

This really affected me last of all (I'm blogging this here as a way of confessing with my mouth).

The second was a scripture I had memorized only a few weeks ago. Colossians 3:17 "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

There's nothing quite like the realization that something you've been doing for a long while is… well, not really being done in the name of the Lord Jesus. Except, of course, giving said thing up. See, I dream in two ways. I dream to create stories that have a solid measure of reality in them; awe inspiring, thought provoking, pieces of art laced with the truth of God. These are beautiful in my mind; gems given to me by God that I would share with everyone. They induce me to be productive, they give me energy, and they fill me with joy.

My other way of dreaming is not so beautiful. It's my way of escape, and as I think about it I realize it's what I did before I knew God. But it's a habit now. A habit I suddenly knew must die. For, they are dark, mildly depressing dreams. Sure, in the dreams I get through whatever problems I'm trying to address. But it became apparent to me that God was not in them, and that's what made them dark.

I can not, in any conceivable way, do the later kind of dreaming in the name of the Lord Jesus; so, I've decided to give it up. To kill the habit before it kills me (that's the only real way to off a habit). This decision was coupled with the third whisper. Ephesians 4:1-3, which I memorized today says, "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in Love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

This scripture seemed to bring it all home, cutting me to the heart. Were the escapism dreams a way of walking worthy of my calling? No. Were my other dreams? Oh, yes. By them I write, and I write well. Then the three fruits of the Spirit mentioned; specific fruits that I have trouble with. Humility, Gentleness, Patience. I've had times where I've practically dripped all three, and times that if they were the only three fruits of the Spirit I would have died of starvation. Looking back I can see that those times line up perfectly with when I've been doing my good dreaming, and with when I've been doing my bad.

Finally, but foremost, was the last verse, "eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." The several verses right after make clear the depth of this unity, "There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call–one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." It is a unity with God and with one another, fellow Christians united through God. I have experienced this kind of unity before, and been eager to maintain it before in the bond of peace. But not while I've been doing my selfish dreaming. Those are anything but peaceful, and I see now that there is no unity in them.

So, I've said all that to say this: I hereby give up my old ways of dreaming. I put this habit to death in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father that I have the strength to do so through him. Instead of it, I shall seek after the way of dreaming worthy of the calling to which I have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with those around me in Love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

1 comment:

  1. I'm very proud of you for this decision. I'm sure that, with God's patient and loving help, you will succeed.

    You are such a joy to me!