Friday, June 15, 2012

Remodeling

Random Journal Day 12
Day with Cade 2.
One of these things is definitely not like the other.
But I press on, removing cords, limbs and a five-year-old Springer from his path. Try to write this post. Oh shoot, he just trotted out here with some of J's underwear.Clean? Dirty? Don't ask, I won't tell.

OK, where was I?
Oh yes, a journal from the spring of 2007. SK graduated from high school that year. So we were busy with all of her activities--her theatrical, musical and parties and prom and graduating functions, her glittering presence in our house, full of laughter and friends coming and going, and...well, those of you who have been through it know. Those of you just starting out--it's joy and sadness all wrapped into a pita, with hope and prayer holding it together.

And, as it had for many years, that prayer came weekly in a small room off the women's bathroom at our church with a faithful group of women who had children of a similar age. We poured out our hearts and our hopes, our faith and our fears. Laid it all in a pile at the feet of Jesus, perfumed by the worship that happens in such places among such hearts. This entry, as so many others over the course of those years, came as I pondered what had  been between us and Christ in that 'upper' room.


Friday, April 27
Sometimes after one of us has prayed deeply, another person pipes up with, "Lord thank-you for the birds and their beautiful melodies." The palpable shift frustrates me. It's like we can't bear to dwell in the deep mystery where things are a little hard and uncomfortable. The only way out is to push to the surface and focus on the first thing we spot or hear. 'Wait!' I cry inside, 'He's almost ready to speak. To say something you've never allowed Him to say.'


My failing is that I don't speak up and cause waves. Don't say, "Dive! Dive!"  I'm fearful of conflict, of being thought weird, of criticizing. Be still. Be still and wait. Yet also speak what He compels us to speak. Both are right, both are the way of righteousness. Both trip me up. Oh God, you know how often they both trip me up. Speaking too quickly, too certainly, too authoritatively, too...too everything-ly. And NOT speaking when I am certain. Because sometimes I am certain that I'm certain. That He makes me certain, I should say. 


But here's the deal, Lord: I sin against YOU, and You forgive me. And again and You forgive me again. And on and on and on.


And yet...it's not enough. You must change me or else I will always only be this, and never more. Never of any more use to you than what I am this moment. Speaking halfway, too much or not enough. Never quite glorifying You as it's possible for a life to glorify you. Perhaps more than a babe in arms, but not a full-grown, mature adult in Christ.  


But the work of changing is not my work--it is Yours. I cannot get any further than my own will and my will is where my greatest failure comes. It's more and ethical and trips me up in its personal goodness and self-righteousness that puts self at the dead center of the universe. No, change from self falls short and stumbles and boomerangs back. 


Only, always, only You can change because only, essentially, against YOU do I sin.
So change me. Remodel me. Remove everything down to the studs. In fact, tear it all down and start from scratch if  that's what it takes. 
But please, God. Make me like you.

5 comments:

Recovering Church Lady said...

Oh man, can I relate to your prayer group scenario! You know that the deep place is good and will get better, but the silence in between His promptings is too much for some people. Your heart to respond in the best way is a beautiful thing.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Perhaps there are some of us who never get past the "thank you Lord for the birds that sing, thank you Lord for everything" kind of prayer. Even though it is good to give praise to God for everything...simple things and deep spiritual things...it's all good in God's eyes. Perhaps in a group like that some are still taking baby steps and learning how to trust and listen to God's inner promptings...and those who have already reached that level of trust oftentimes forget what it was like to be a new frightened believer lacking the confidence to say what was truly on their hearts. It's always a precious time when we let God open each new little bud and watch it develop into a fully open and beautiful flower. All a part of body life. Thank you for that reminder today that may help us to be patient and compassionate with those who are just starting to test their wings.

Modern Day Disciple said...

Leading a Moms In Prayer group (unwillingly, recruited I confess BUT then willingly accepted!) I can relate to this as well. I think I have even been guilty of blurting out random prayer phrases in perceived awkward silences...but then I started to learn to listen better to Him. I find it harder to hear Him with others (in a group) but I think it comes with practice. He takes us along, thankfully. I think Pamela also says it well...sweet. As always , appreciate your sharing. ANd the seasons you give us a peek at...

peggy aplSEEDS said...

a thought provoking post. yes, i can relate to you not saying anything. sometimes it's hard for me to know what to do. thank you for sharing

peggy aplSEEDS said...

a thought provoking post. yes, i can relate to you not saying anything. sometimes it's hard for me to know what to do. thank you for sharing