Monday, 22 December 2014

FORGETFUL ME

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Yesterday was my birthday and it’s just so amazing how time imperceptibly tip toed past my beclouded – and yes, bespectacled – eyes. Eyes that were so busy roving over history books of yesterdays, clouded by the past that they forgot to see time dancing past.
 
I am particularly big on history. I believe, for one, that if we want to move ahead in the future and not make the mistakes we did in the past, there is a need to dust up our books and take stock. That sounds like a perfectly logical thing to do. Right?



Which was why yesterday, I decided to settle down and think of my past. I thought of my childhood (*smug smile* yes, I said childhood), my teenage years (ok, don’t roll your eyes now – I meant the major parts) and my…now. From where I sat on my bed that morning, the view looked very colourful, with some white, black, red, green and even grey areas. 

At that point I got confused; what part do I focus my lens on, really? Those times when I did things I wasn’t so proud of? Or those ones where I could beat my puffed up chest? Either way the lens went, one thing was evident, there was no helping my future with this. I tried so hard to spot mistakes and think up new strategies to advance. Nada. Zilch. Nothing! I tried resolutions and wishing lists. Didn’t work. Because somewhere in my heart I couldn’t find a motivation, a springboard to hop on to my new year.

I kept searching.

And searching….

Then it hit me! 

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19 - NIV)

I finally got it. God is doing something new! He is making ways and springing upwelling of waters. This is the trend. And He’s calling me, drawing my attention and wondering how I could be so alarmingly obtuse. “I’m doing it! Open your eyes and see it. Perceive it. Don’t be so insensitive”. There is relief for me in this arid place. There are spurts of revitalizing waters in this desert but somehow I couldn’t see it and God’s gift to me is this, “Look!”

But there is a problem.

The new is great and exciting. It is all I want and all I look forward to, old news is getting boring and frustrating. But there’s more to this promise than just looking and seeing it. To enter my brand new future, there has to be a “letting go”. I need to forget the past, no matter how ugly and frayed or how sparkly and glorious because going over history will keep me from the new, it would build a misty cloud over my eyes so I miss my “new” twirling past me.

 “No one cuts up a fine silk scarf to patch old work clothes; you want fabrics that match. And you don’t put wine in old, cracked bottles; you get strong, clean bottles for your fresh vintage wine. And no one who has ever tasted fine aged wine prefers unaged wine.” (Luke 5:36 – The Message).

So, no matter how much I fancy my old clothes, there is no patching them up with the new silk. Nope. God would not build a new skyscraper on an old foundation, he would not make do with the old. He would not build on my yesterday. I have to forget the past. Forget it and how comfortable it is, forget how cozy its familiarity feels, forget its glories and shame. Everything.

I’m dropping my thick-leather-back history tome, placing it in a fancy chariot and hurling it at a 60 degree tangent straight into the Red Sea; chariot and all.

I’m turning my back.
 
And I’m getting forgetful.

That. Is. My. Happy Birthday.


Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.” (Isaiah 43:19 – The Message Bible).

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

HE WASN’T KIDDING! (II) – Wow!

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There are a handful of things I could say I have learned from kids, that is, when I allowed myself look beyond the gurgles and wailings to the true essence of innocence, beauty and…wonder. A few of these I could see reflected directly in scripture’s directives.

One of them is WONDER. There was a time my little cousin was fascinated by butterflies. Most kids would squeal and run in circles when they saw one. Not my cousin. If he was squealing or running in circles, it was because he was too excited and wanted to catch the critter. He would “ooh!” and “aah!” all over, much to my irritation. I mean jeez, it was just a butterfly. Who stands wide-eyed at a flappy critter? Apparently, he did.

I am not wide-eyed.

And I say that with all sense of pride and smugness. Life and society have taught me to be practical. You are not a “village” girl. Staring wide eyed at city lights and buildings. Practicality…down-to-earth. It’s the stuff of sophistication and well…maturity. Of course, there are some occasions when I see something and go, “wow”, like say a technology or an art. But only those things I can understand, at least to the extent where I know it must have cost a lot to make it that “wow” inspiring. If God is too awesome for us, we’d probably probe and prod till we lose the stars in our eyes. We run to science to explain the phenomenon behind it. As if to say, “How dare You do something so amazing I can’t understand?” 

God is great, I say that all the time. But somehow it has grown so…familiar. Yeah, God parted the sea for His children to walk through, so what? It sounds cool but I wouldn’t allow myself drool all over my Bible because of it. He is God. He is expected to do these things, right? Besides, I’ve heard that a dozen plus times.

He stills the sun, he roars in lightening and cloud, formed the world in six days,  he walks on water, restores unseeing eyes, he multiplies loaves of bread…litters the pages of the Bible with awe-inspiring exploits and still manages to be everywhere at the same time. Yet, somehow I do not see the wonder in this. My eyes don’t grow wide, I don’t gasp and mouth “wow” in amazement, my mouth doesn’t go agape. It doesn’t occur to my slow brain and familiar heart that THIS IS NOT NORMAL. People don’t generally go about doing these kinda stuff.

“Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive and accept and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child [does] positively shall not enter it at all” (Jesus in Mark 10:15 – AMP)

But somehow I could feel God pulling my heartstrings with his word. He tells me to receive his kingdom like a child, first with blind-eyed belief, then with wide-eyed wonder and finally with open arms. JUST LIKE A CHILD. A child who somehow thinks everything is fascinating. A child who isn’t too familiar with the wonders of God. A child who would stop to stare at the vastness of the sky and cry, “look!”,  a child who jumps in excitement to see a bird. 

I’m not awesome, He is. He gracefully and powerfully causes His enemies to bow, He paints the sky with elegant and fluid strokes, splattering His nature all over for us to see, He provides meals from the sky, heals the sick, changes the heart of people.

Hangs on the cross.

He is awesome. And he has called me to receive the beauty of His kingdom. He didn’t call me to probe it. But to stand and watch with wide eyed wonder and parted lips at his bruised battered face, bloodied body on a wooden cross till I cannot but fall to my knees in worship. He has called me to the very Kingdom He purchased for me with his punctured hands, those same mighty hands that formed me…that same heart that loves me.

I am called to receive, called to accept, called to welcome. If the call was in a still small voice pulling my heart or in a thunderous voice accompanied by lightening, it is not my duty to probe it but to stand in wonder and brokenness and simply whisper, “Yes, Lord.” 

God wants me to worship Him in the beauty and wonder of His holiness and mightiness. His deeds and works should elicit wonder. His kingdom should not be one I take lightly because I’ve heard it a trillion times. His Kingdom should be one where its sheer beauty, power and righteousness causes me to be awed. 
  
I should receive His kingdom with a WOW!

"Let be and be still , and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!" (Psalm 46:10 - AMP)

Side note: When last have you allowed yourself give the skies more than just a passing glance? When last did you let out a shout of amazement because the wonders of God cannot be contained? When last did you wonder about the hand of God in a person?

Well, the other day, I was walking home and I was able to capture the sky on camera;


God is awesome.

Photo credit: via Lightstock

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