Moments of thoughtfulness always seem to allude back to a poem I wrote a few years ago. It's not super typical of me to write poetry but this one time I had so much in my fragile heart, and it just came out in the form of a poem. It's a little fascinating how much weight it still seems to carry in the thesis weaved in and throughout my incredibly average 20-some-year-old life.

i come and then i go
in and out of phases
in and out of stages
of plays and and circus cages
one time to be loved
and sometimes just paraded

It's that word, "phases." Is it normal to look back upon the past four years of your life and see about a dozen different people? Each person has different goals, different values, different style, different passions. I would even go so far as to say different way of talking, walking, or laughing. A friend of mine named Kevin introduced the word "steadfastness" into my life a few months ago when I met him. It's not like I had never heard the word or wasn't familiar with what it meant. But he used it on such a personal level. He talked about steadfastness in reference to how our relationship to God should look based on his ideal example -- his love is steadfast so we should be steadfast in our obedience to his will. His love doesn't shift and is entirely independent from anything else. His love, and his mercy, are catalysts.

(cat·a·lyst   [kat-l-ist]
noun1.Chemistry . a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected.2.something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces without itself being affected.)

My quest for steadfastness is not as steadfast as I wish it was. Sometimes I hardly acknowledge the fact that most of my young adult life is a series of chapters, each one with a completely different character. It shocks me to look at some of those characters because some feel so far removed from who I feel I am right now.
I'm not talking about change and growth and developing as a person. I'm all for it. I think there can be great steadfastness through that refining of character over time. People change. That's not what I'm referring to. My "phases" are embarrassingly a result of running back and forth between a passion for the approval of man and a passion for giving my heart over to that which is greater.

I think steadfastness happens in part with an awareness that one is much more worth pursuing than the other. I don't know how or why some people are better at it than others. I don't think it's easy for anyone. But some day-dreaming whimsical fanciful people like me have a harder time staying grounded. It's so easy to get caught up in fairy-tales and what-ifs and think-it-would-be-better-for-myself-and-others-if-I-was-more-XYZ's.

I wish I could say with full confidence, "it has been and continues to be the same thing that gets me out of bed every morning -- that which is steadfast and unceasing in love!"

But I think Funk hit the nail on the head yesterday when he reminded us that this will be a struggle - that the struggle isn't magically removed in some formulaic response to Jesus but that it will, perhaps, be a difficult battle that you face every day.

Knowing that is comfort in that I recognize no one is struggle-free. And differentiating between the temptation and the practice is probably an important first step.

Listen to the message that inspired me here (sermon on Homosexuality).  

1 comment:

  1. Funk more than nailed it on the head, he really smashes the skewed vantage point of most "Christ centred-bible believers" and our perspective of sin & darkness. Great, great sermon. Thanks for sharing it Beaner & I love your heart.