Sunday, September 19, 2010

Coffee, the God-Given Example of Obsession

I would like to take a moment to introduce a specific lifeline that I have come to love and Take this moment with me if you are a coffee lover and journey through the wonders of a cup of joe and if you are not a coffee lover make sure to ask yourself why not....

The door opens to the favorite coffee shop and the smell of coffee, rich strong and enveloping hits you like an oven opening on Grandma's Apple Pie. Your attention is drawn to what's on the menu and you let the mental debate ensue, usual or splurge, the choices wage war inside of your brain for all of two seconds and then you sigh, deciding on the usual. As you walk your cup from the ledge where the coffee was distributed to the counter to get a lid you start to spill and the vicious cycle of spilling beverage begins, step-spill-step-spill, you know it's going to be quite some time until the steaming hot liquid stops swishing up and over the opposing sides of your cup, so you stop to re-balance and then continue. There are drops of coffee everywhere, on your hand, shoes, on the floor, and on a particularly bad day on the person next to you.

Now, there's this segment in the Youth Walk that I'm reading called "Coffee Stains" and it discusses their obsession with coffee (which if you know me automatically gives them supa fly points). They are always around it and are always drinking it. They spill their coffee everywhere, on the floor, in the car, on their clothes. Let's just say that if a stranger walked into their lives they would automatically know they were obsessed with coffee.

They wondered if the very same strangers who picked up on their coffee addiction would pick up on their obsession with God. They say, "I don't go around spilling coffee to make sure everyone notices what a big part of my life it is. I just love it, so it shows up a lot." Coffee lifts up our spirits, wakes us up in the morning, and is simply relaxing. Well, God, the Creator of ALL good gives us a spirit to lift, wakes us each morning with a whisper of hope and love, and the Lord is the very essence of relaxation amidst our chaos.

Could we describe our relationship with the Lord with the words "I'm obsessed"? Could we be around the Lord so much that He shows up wherever we are? Could it be that we love the Lord so much that when someone walks in the door, they automatically know we're obsessed?  Could we live a life that is shouting the Lord's Name above all other lies that bombard us in this broken and fallen world? Could we point up to the Lord by living out our sloppy, unchecked, unrestrained passion for our God? Let yourself believe that you can. Let yourself fall into the person that you desire to be and the pursuit of a God who can make you become that. Let yourself become obsessed with Your Savior.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

For Those Who Need

Life, it's something that becomes simplified, played up, easy and cheap in today's society. They air it on TV as something that can be discarded, thrown around, and abused. They don't show the broken hearts, the skewed identities, the crippling pain. They don't show the parts that bring tears to one's eyes continually day after day with no hope at the end of the tunnel, they don't show the true frustration. Now why is that? Why don't they show that this world, this reality is one full of pain, heartache, and strife? Do they really think that by creating a world where all goes right and things play out and good prevails that it will become a real one? They don't have to think because they've convinced enough people that it is. Those who are longing for something, who know there is something more from this world that they are not getting. They watch television and they fantasize and they get lost in a world that is not their own because they feel safe, wanted, loved, perfect, and whole.

What if I were to tell you that there is a way of feeling these things in this world, this one where explosions on trains kill thousands of people and there are planes crashing into buildings? What if I were to tell you that you could feel desired, loved, pursued, romanced, and whole while you're mother or daughter or son or brother or whoever is beside you dying from disease and you are suffering through heart break? What if I were to tell you that there is a way of rejoicing and being joyful when you have to put a loved one in the ground or you feel like all you can do is cry and rock? What if I told you that there is a love greater than any you've ever seen, experienced, enjoyed, been romanced by, or made complete through? Would you believe me or tell me that I was a fool lost in my own world of fantasy? What if my life showed you that it was true? What if I was confident in the fact that I was made whole by a love that was flawless and I lived it out, so evident and bright that you couldn't help but notice I was different? Would you believe me then? Or would you say I had convinced myself so well that there was something else that I had begun to believe it myself?

Well that's what I'll tell you and I'll let you call me or think of me in any fashion you desire. God is Love like you've never seen, like you've never felt, like you've never been lost in. A boyfriend sends you flowers, makes you feel beautiful, and gives you a sense of safety. A girlfriend shows you that you are a man, makes you rest, and eases your loneliness. But GOD sends you sunsets, shooting stars, lightning storms, and galaxies to woo you. GOD the Creator of the Universe says to you "I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed. for I am your God." -Isaiah 41:9b-10a. He will offer you protection, validation, and strength EVERY DAY WITHOUT FAIL. He will make you whole, show you what it is to be pursued with a holy, and righteous passion.

Please, world, please, reader, please, Child of God, don't get lost to what this world says is love, what this world claims is perfection or success, don't settle into what this world has for you because it is not enough. It will never be enough. I'm crying out to you and crying for you. Don't let this world tell you that you are not good enough. That you are not man enough. That you are not beautiful enough. That you are not worth anything. Please, don't let your identity become lost in the pain, don't let yourself believe that the pain inflicted on you is all because you deserve it. Believe me that there is something more, something worth hoping for, rejoicing for, and living for. Something that embraces the pain of this world with the full knowledge that it's not the end. I love you too much to let you believe that no one cares. I love you too much to let you keep living in self-doubt, insecurities, and pain. I love you too much to let you keep crying with no one beside you and feeling as if you will always be alone. There is more. I promise you. Please don't give up yet. God wants to know you and He wants you to know Him. Please, let Him beautiful Son and Daughter of God.