Monday, January 23, 2012

Learning how to walk

This lesson God is showing me that my walk with Him is a journey not a destination is much deeper than I thought.  The speaker at our Pastor's and Wives Retreat was a seminary professor. Needless to say my husband and I titled him the Nugget Guy after the first session.  Most of what he said went completely over my head but every few sentences or paragraphs he would drop a nugget.  A golden chunk of words that would set the wheels in motion.

He challenged me further on this idea of a journey.  He talked about the story of Creation the first night.  He shared his ideas that creation is a process too.  Yes, our bibles tell us God finished creating the world in six days, but that actually the process continues on - in us.  He said our lives are active participants in the process of creation - the creating of something good from a mess.

At that moment he started speaking my language.  My life is a mess.  It feels sloppy, squishy and out of control most of the time. But his point was that the mess isn't supposed to reach perfection - it is only intended to complete the process.  Once again this idea of it all coming down to the process (not the end product) rises to the surface for me.

He talked about the root meaning of the word 'perfect' from the original languages.  It doesn't mean what we have come to ascribe it to.  It means complete, whole and lacking nothing.  So our ultimate goal to reach isn't perfection like we think of it. Instead we are to strain towards becoming complete and whole. That is what the process will bring us to.

When God finished creating each component of Creation He said, "It is good."  Do you sometimes feel like your "good" isn't good enough?  Are you aiming for a bar of perfection?  Perhaps you should set your sights where God does - He is looking for "good" - for complete and whole.  He is aiming for 'finished'.

I will give you one more "nugget" to ponder.

I believe in an all mighty God.  His power is not matched by anyone or anything.  He is truly the Lord of lords.  Are we on the same page?  So then the speaker posed this question:

If God is so powerful, why didn't He finish creation in one day?

There are probably many angles of theology you could use to attack this particular question.  However the speaker presented this:  God could have, but in Him creation is a process.  It is one where God desires to include His 'created' in.  So, He said, "Let there be light.  Good.  Now that is enough for now."  Then on a different day He said "Let there be great expanses of land between the waters.  Good.  That is enough for today."

God works in increments.  He did it in Creation and He does it in our lives.  The exciting thing is that in His eyes, I am finished.  I am complete.  I am lacking nothing.  Even though I am still on that journey, God knows the end result.

I recently watched a video from a young man who is out changing the world for Jesus.  He talks about his own testimony and the power of grace but the part that hit home with me is when he talks about how a parent treats a toddler learning to walk.  He said that when a tiny toddler starts out they are holding onto furniture and hands or whatever they can grasp.  Then after several tries (or even days) they attempt to take a step outward.  They may fumble and fall flat on their face or bottom, but do we say as parents?  "She's walking! He's walking!"

As a parent we know that they aren't actually walking.  They took one step and fell.  But we know what is coming.  We know the process and what the end result will be and we celebrate that.  We celebrate with video, pictures, skype calls and facebook statuses that our little one is walking - when in fact they failed and fell on their bottom.

This is how your heavenly Father celebrates you.  There is truth in that.  Like a little golden nugget of truth.

(Unfortunately the video I watched has been locked for viewing in the last two days.  It was by a young man named Jeff Bethke who is garnering a lot of attention these days.  You may have already heard about his viral You Tube video titled Why I hate religion, but love Jesus. It is a poem he wrote.  It is four minutes long.  If you haven't heard of him or his crusade I encourage you to check it out.  I am not professing anything of his theology, but I think he has courage and to me that says a lot about a person.)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

Keep walking Friends!

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