Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I pray for rain to come.

I feel like free-writing. I should be working. It's work-time. But I want to talk to someone about something other than comma placement and template updates. So here I am.

This morning was an adventure in emotional babysitting. I'm so predictable. If I'm not sleeping enough, if I'm not eating right, if I start forsaking any sort of spiritual discipline, I get cranky and self-absorbed and petty and depressed.

Pour me out
Til there's nothing left of me
Pour me out

Thankfully, I've started to recognize when this happens. I'm able to press "save as draft" instead of "post" when I write narcissistic blog-rants about how misunderstood or unaccepted or unappreciated I am. (I've got too much ego to just delete them. Every writer secretly thinks he's brilliant, whether he admits it or not.)

Pour me out
So that someday I might see
Pour me out

My greatest needs right now are to learn to connect better with others and to become more generous. I've gotten too insular and comfortable with my life. I need to start stretching. Stretching is hard. And I've become afraid of opening up to others, and giving myself away to others. The irony is, these two things are vital to the working out of my faith. If I stop reaching out to others in love and service, I stop acting like a Christian. These two characteristics really captured how Jesus lived on earth.

I want to lose myself
In finding You
Embracing grace and facing truth
Tear down these walls that dim
The shape I'm in

I used to teach Bible study every week, but in the last six months, I've had the benefit of having a co-teacher. This is a blessing, but it's also a bit of a hinderance. Only being responsible to teach once every two weeks opens up the opportunity to be lazy. To not commit myself to study and prayer as deeply as I had to when I was responsible for teaching each week. And I'm a phenomenally lazy person. "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it." Lately, I've been wandering a lot. I'm ashamed of this.

Pour me out
From my river to Your sea
Pour me out
Pour me out
Let me ride on waves of peace
Pour me out

Days like today, I lose sight of the fact that I'm very small, and God is very big. That my plans are tiny and short-sighted, and that His plans are great and wide and far-reaching. That my minor emotional drama often has little or no place in His epic. Perspective. That's the word for it. And I start to realize that my efforts and emotions and words and actions have of late been spent on things that don't last, that don't matter, that don't help me grow. It's easy to fall into the quicksand of "total entertainment" that beguiles so much of my generation. To live my life with the focus of being happy and well-fed and never ever bored. I've got to get out of this mindset. To broaden my view. To live for something higher and lasting. These days, I'm not doing much of that.

I want to understand
This greater plan
How character can shape a man
Your image surrounding me
Pray that will be

I often write posts like this. Observational, confessional. But there's a twinge of dishonesty in posts like these. I probably make it sound like I'm coming to some great and life-changing realization, and that my life will never be the same again. Most of the time, it's just talk. This is what I do. This is my business. Words and sentences. Emotional appeals. Clever turns of phrase, and tightly-knit conclusions. I want what I write to be true, but I'm no good on follow-through. So in the end, it's really a curse. To him who knows the good he should do and doesn't do it, to him it is sin. And that's how it is for me. I know what I'm supposed to do. I know what I need to surrender, so that Christ can change it in me. But I don't. I just talk. So here you go, kids. More talk. Hope it helps you. It's not helping me much.

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