This Terminal Existence

matt-winkleft-67CgH6HuRR8-unsplash

(Photo by Matt Winkleft on Unsplash)

 

This terminal existence is not the true life. It is not the pursuit of happiness but the pursuit of Jesus that is the true life of profound and living Joy.

The true life is not the riskless life of the nest. Although there are seasons of the nest. The true life is found in the footsteps of Jesus as he sprints into the messiness of a life full of the future.

There are two lives we live. One in the boat, one on the water. Joy comes in the pursuit of the footsteps – that disappear rather quickly – on the footpath across the sea that leads to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. (yes, footprints in the water disappear fast. This requires one to be very close to the person making the footprints…obviously)

Which one are you pursuing?

Are you desperately rowing for all you’re worth? Are you wondering why Jesus isn’t helping you row? Or, are you placing your feet in those footprints in the sea?

Faith is a muscle, you need to exercise it. Rowing as hard as you can in the boat will get you there…eventually. But, you will be exhausted, and will most likely miss the party on the other shore. Exercise the muscle. Get out of the boat, get out of the nest.

How can you tell if you are in the boat or the nest or standing on the sea? I think that might be a pretty simple question. Ask yourself. Are you living for your comforts? Are you living to build your nest? When you read John 14:12;

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father.”

do you wonder why those things never happen in your nest? Or, if you do think about them are they just to be entertained or amazed? Seeking the gift and not the giver? (I have found myself in this one.) 

Miracles, signs, and wonders are a “Mythical Beast” in the riskless nest. But, when risk is removed there is no need for miracles, signs, and wonders. These are reserved for those living on the edge of the Kingdom – the boundary between Heaven and Earth – for the risk-takers, faith wielders, dragon slayers, soul savers, and water walkers.

Miracles, signs, and wonders are not circus tricks performed for the entertainment of the audiences of the world. They are the by-product of the risk-filled life. A life lived in the proximity of Jesus Christ, whose feet are firmly planted on the surface of the sea.

 

 

 

Wait, Wait ‘Till the Moon is Full…

aron-visuals-4zxSWESyZio-unsplash

 

(Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash)

There are times in life where I tend to get impatient with God. I think we all experience this at times. In my case, I have gone through a transition in my business that I would describe as a divine intervention in my life. To say that the transition was exciting and terrifying at the same time would be pretty accurate. But, it was also comforting to know that Father God was right there with me in that transition.

That was almost nine months ago and all the dreams of progress – and yes – success have been put on hold. All of my expectations of where the Lord was taking me and my business have seemingly been put on pause. But, I still have a prevailing sense of peace in the midst of my wondering what is going on with this pause in progress.

Just to be clear this post is not about my responsibility to make things happen when given an opportunity. I get that and am working on the plan. It’s about Waiting. It’s about God’s perfect timing.

This morning as I was on my prayer walk. This children’s story – that was a staple bedtime story for all three of my kids – popped into my mind. And, I realized that to The Father, we are like the little Raccoon that Margaret Wise Brown so expertly illustrated. I realized that His promises made nine months ago were still good and to rest in His Peace as His timing came to fullness. For me to Wait, Wait ‘Till your Destiny is Full…

“If you want to go out in the woods,

and see the night

and know an Owl

and how dark is the dark

and see the Moon

and how big is the night

and listen to the Whip Poor Will

and stay up all night

and sleep all day

and see that the Moon isn’t a Rabbit

and what color is the night

and see a bird fall out of his nest

and fly away in the moonlight

and find another little Racoon to play with

Off you go, for…

 

The Moon is Full

Trust His timing in all things. Rest in His Peace for you and your family. His timing is Perfect and His Promises are forever. Do not fret, eventually, the Moon will be Full and your Destiny complete.

 

 

Gravity

ben-o-sullivan-WzH-0DB8xEU-unsplash

(Photo by Ben O’Sullivan on Unsplash)

 

My life changed the day I pulled myself into the Library. It was a place I never wanted to visit. Life was a daily grind of launching and landing. The struggle to keep the lack of gravity from dominating my life. Just like everyone else I knew. The struggle was very real. The day began with releasing the belts that held me in my bed so that I could sleep without worrying about floating to the ceiling or out the window and out into space. 

Then breakfast. Tubes of “Cap’n Crunch” squirted into my hungry mouth, trying to ignore the longing to have a plain old bowl of “Cap’n Crunch” in a bowl with milk and the satisfying sensation of the actual Crunch. Still, I wondered at the very existence of that thought. No one ever experienced that. This was life on Earth. A weightless existence. We all made the best of it. 

Every day, began the same. The effort to get from point A to point B. Home to work and back again. Everyone’s strategy was different, and much of it depended on how much money you had saved up. How wealthy you were dictated how much ease you were able to experience as you went about business every day. 

The most basic was the cable poles that lined the streets. First I would open the front door of my apartment and hold onto the door frame. Concentration is everything when attempting to move from point to point. And, yes after a bit you gain a certain amount of expertise in this. You either learn to move or you eventually give up and hide in your home and never come out. Thousands of people in our city give up every day. The insane asylums are overflowing with those that give up. But, I digress. Back to the door frame. 

Using my arms like the elastic bands of a slingshot I launch myself at the pole outside the apartment building. There I can grab the cable that winds its way through the city until I reach my office. The hard part is when you encounter people going the other direction. Yes, certain cables are designated for one-way traffic. But, many people let their frustrations get the better of them and they ignore those rules and just grab the first cable they come to. 

Then there are those that can afford a propulsion backpack. As I am pulling myself along on the cable I can look up and see the wealthy powering their way to work effortlessly and in their cocoon of privacy afforded by their backpack. 

Then there are the EMTs in their helicopters rescuing those that lost their grip on the cable. Or those daredevils that use the ancient launchers from the tops of their homes or apartments. A dangerous proposition as you actually need to have a computer app that will calculate exactly what kind of power to use on the launcher and at what angle and elevation to set it to reach your destination. It definitely requires a daredevil mindset to use those. These daredevils keep the EMTs busy. And, we lose a few every week as their launchers malfunction and send their users into orbit and out into space.

As I pulled myself along on the cable a sense of desperate hopelessness rose up in my heart. Why was living this way? Why was there a sense of something better nagging at the back of my mind? Wasn’t life always this way? 

Then I saw him.

About a mile ahead I saw a man walking down the sidewalk all by himself with a big grin and a to-go coffee cup. And, he didn’t have a hold on the cable. He was just walking as if his feet we stuck to the ground. I had heard that there were a few companies working on shoes that would stick to the sidewalks. But, the costs were thought to be too prohibitive as most thought the sidewalks would need to be electrified so that the shoes could be magnetized…or whatever it would take to make that work.

I was dumbstruck. How was that possible? That man was unaffected by the lack of gravity. Then he was gone. He WALKED around the corner. Unfortunately, I had stopped on the cable and received a quite nasty push from the woman behind me. So I continued on my way to my office. 

But, I never made it to the office. I saw a building I had never really noticed until this morning. “Public Library”, the dingy unlit sign proclaimed on the outside of the red brick building. There was that nagging at the back of my mind. Something that said that there was something new, something containing hope. Something tells me that life wasn’t meant to be hopeless and the same-old-same-old. My heart screamed to follow the nagging. So I launched myself towards the two large oddly barbershop poles on either side of the doors of the Library. 

I managed to grab the pole to the right of the double doors. Each door was made of solid dark stained oak and had large smiling faces carved into each door. The faces looked like the face of that mythological character Santa Claus that my father used to tell me about as a child. All those old stories about Santa and a man from the dark times named Jesus. I forgot about those stories. Probably hadn’t thought of them in years. Years and years of struggle to stay on the ground and not drift off into space. Just a life of survival and the mind-numbing hopelessness of the sameness that kept going like a bad dream.

As I opened the door a warm blast of air escaped and washed over my face, and light streamed out the growing gap between the two doors as I pulled with as much leverage as I could gain from the pole. Until I finally stood next to the door.

I was standing.

There before me were rows and rows of shelves filled with books and people standing around reading books…not held down by anything. 

I walked into the library and came face to face with the Librarian. 

“Hello, Derek. Welcome to the Library. I am here to answer your questions and to lead you into all understanding into the land of Gravity. Out of the darkness and into the light. Out of the hopeless and into the New Creation. My name is Jesus. 

You have been called out of a world that has lost its anchor. I am the anchor. I am the Way, The Truth and the Life. There are weight and gravity in the Kindom and a future. Life without Me is without gravity and lost. Most of the people outside those doors are stuck in their ignorance and have no idea they are lost and drifting off into nothingness. 

You have been called to take the message of gravity to those lost and clueless about their lostness. It won’t be easy as those lost can’t see the hope. Indeed, most won’t even see you. They can’t see beyond their hopelessness. There is a kind of comfort to being lost. Especially when you don’t know you are lost. 

Welcome to the New Creation. Welcome to Gravity.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than Conquerors!

j-w-675142-unsplash

Photo by J W on Unsplash

(Derek’s Note: A little detour from posting chapters from “The Lewis List”)

“Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake, we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 35 – 39

I have been pondering the meaning behind the above verse 37. I believe that in a previous blog post I mentioned something about being more than a conqueror. But, it occurred to me that there was another aspect to this that needs to be said. 

We are made more than conquerors by the Love of Christ, not through something we do. It’s Jesus in us that keeps us and gives us victory. But, what does it mean to be more than a conqueror? How do you go beyond victory? First of all the description of a conqueror fits Jesus to a “T”. He is the Conqueror! He has brought all of creation to its knees and eventually every knee will bow and tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. 

As a Conqueror, Jesus has the right to do anything He pleases with those He has conquered. He can destroy anyone or anything that stands in His way…that is the prerogative of the victor in a war. Unconditional surrender is demanded; and – as the vanquished – you better pray for mercy. Ancient history documents what happened to the losers of battles in great detail. Slavery, torture, crucifixion, and many other gruesome outcomes awaited those unfortunate to be on the losing end of a conflict. 

To take that a step further, Jesus could snap his fingers and everything would be gone. Much like Thanos in the Marvel movie. The only difference is that there wouldn’t be slowly dissolving dark grey flakes drifting on the breeze. There would just be nothing left. No memories of lives gone by. Just oblivion. That is the right of an Almighty God whose very Word sparked a Universe we cannot see the end of. It brings reality to the term the Fear of God.

But, back to the idea of being MORE than a Conqueror. How do you do more as a Conqueror? Is crushing then erasing the remnants of your vanquished foe’s society and culture, all that is expected? Perhaps, if you are a human conqueror. But, Jesus chose to die on the cross for His MORE. An ALL powerful, All-knowing, Omnipresent God can afford to be compassionate. His perspective allows compassion to guide His conquest. Our God is not a Human that He gets offended when we fail. And, it takes diligent and intentional blasphemy to spark retaliation from Him.

Compassion and Love are the benefits of surrender to an Almighty God. When we allow ourselves to be conquered, we gain a Father, a Savior, and a Promise.