Wednesday, February 25, 2009

where is your wind blowing?

Hurricanes and cyclones revolve around their own center -- drawing everything in to meet their demands for strength and power -- leaving a path of destruction in their wake.
Compare that to a flower -- where gentle breezes take away their most precious assets, their seeds -- in the process creating new life.
We can pull everything towards ourselves... or we can give it away.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

the face of liberty

They that can give up essential liberty
to obtain a little temporary safety,
deserve neither liberty or safety.
Benjamin Franklin

My family spent a few days in Philadelphia this past week. The town where Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence and James Madison wrote the U.S. Constitution knows a few things about liberty, which Webster’s defines as “the quality or state of being free.”

The U.S. Mint, situated on the north end of Independence Mall, engraves the word LIBERTY on every coin they produce. And of course, there is the Liberty Bell.

The first thing that struck me about the Liberty Bell was its imperfections. The surface area is anything but smooth, and is marked instead by dents, welts, swells, patches and bumps. The rim, which one would expect to be sharp and circular, is rough and chiseled. This clarion of freedom… which assembled the masses in 1776, harked the end of slavery in the late 1800s and echoed the voices of the suffragettes in the 20th Century… appears flawed, damaged and defective. And did I mention that crack?

Yet this cast of copper and zinc is treasured. Patriots hid it under church floors during the Revolutionary War to protect it from the British army. It has traveled from coast to coast. A million people come each year to stand in its presence. To read the verse from Leviticus inscribed on its crown: proclaim LIBERTY throughout the land unto all Inhabitants thereof.

When you get up close you see that liberty doesn’t look pretty. It appears flawed. Chiseled. Cracked. And yet it is perfect in every way imaginable.

In this, the city of brotherly love, I also thought about words Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Reflecting about what I expect from my relationship with Christ, it dawned on me that when I finally go all in with Jesus… when I choose to live the life he intended for me… it is probably not going to look pretty to the outside world. When I finally allow Jesus to set me free it is likely that others will see me as flawed. Chiseled. Cracked.

For some reason I can’t explain, that thought comforts me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

wednesday randomness

Was reminded recently about the Exodus, and how some of those who were delivered from bondage wanted to return to Egypt. I have been freed, too, but sometimes I go looking for my Egyptian passport. Like I want to be a dual citizen. Ugggh!

It's amazing how easy it is to see the presence of God in this world if we open our eyes, ears and hearts.

We all have demons. Last week I was praying for God's help in overcoming a temptation when it dawned on me that this battle was already fought and won. That changed everything.

I probably pray as much about my life as i do for others. Not sure whether that's a good thing or not.

When I turn my back on the Lord (you know, that sin stuff) I usually respond by avoiding God for a while... I guess you call that shame. Was reminded of that this morning reading about one of Peter's first encounters with Christ. "Go away from me Lord, I am a sinful man!" And of course, Jesus replies... c'mon, let's go for a walk.

What was the first thing Jesus did in his ministry? He took time to meet, comfort and heal individuals... ordinary people in need... one at a time. I was doing more of that a year ago than I am today.

While I have loved and served God the father for a while now, and have definitely been touched by the Holy Spirit... hard to explain but I may now be learning to love Jesus.