I’m reading this book. It’s a library reject. I’m guessing it was unwanted because it’s old, a little ugly and the first page contains a sentence that could be taken as really bad theology. But when I saw the vintage lime green cover and contents that challenged my thinking, I just knew we were meant to be. Yes, I have a book problem. I’ll try not to quote it in every blog post for the next month. You’re welcome.
Yesterday as I was reading, I came across some good stuff. So good, in fact, that I have to tell you about it. The author is discussing the idea that Christians totally get it when God says “come” so that he can give them grace. They understand pretty well that he draws them under his wing and makes them what they are supposed to be: his children.
But those same people frequently struggle when the same God says “abide.”
It reminded me of this time at a homecoming dance in high school. I really like to dance. There are even songs that everyone in the house is required to dance to should they happen to come across the playlist…or should someone make them come across the playlist.When I was in high school I managed to get myself invited (read: invite myself) to any dance at any school to which I had a friend attending. Even after Nic and I started dating, I got us both invited. But pre-Nic, there was this one homecoming and this one typical Mormon boy: great hair, nice teeth and the ability to dance.
I so badly wanted just one jitterbug with a boy who didn’t need me to tell him what to do next. Being the good Mormon boy he was, he mercifully asked me to dance. Poor guy.
You see, I had never danced with someone who knew how to lead. Every time we’d start dancing, it would go well for a few steps and then I’d take over. He would simply drop his hands to his side and wait for me to come back and let him lead.
However embarrassing it was then (it can’t be worse that this throwback prom picture right?), it’s pretty funny to look back on now. And crazily enough – the aforementioned LDS kid reminds me of Jesus. That might seem slightly blasphemous to you, but it’s true.
Jesus says “Abide in me.” and that he’ll “never leave you nor forsake you.” If I ask the question “Where are you God? I feel so far away.” The answer remains. He is there, waiting for me to abide. I am the one who has walked my own way. Ouch.
It’s not him.
It’s not my circumstances.
It’s not anyone else’s fault, no matter what they’ve done.
God doesn’t ask me to go out and single handedly accomplish world peace, cure cancer, end hunger or be perfect. What he tells me to do first and foremost is to abide in him.
He wants me to live,
Exist in him.
And he wants that for you and all the world as well. Many of my readers share some of my views in intentionality. But all of our minimalism, natural eating, sustainable farming and community building are no good. Unless they are fruit that the Branch has asked, fed and strengthened us to produce.
I think we can wear ourselves mighty thin physically and/or emotionally with all our striving.
Rest your weary soul.
And abide in the living God who loves you.
Only then will your busy days bear much fruit.
Until next time, peace my friend.