Yep, that's the difference
Another weekend has come and gone. This weekend was significantly slower paced than many of my weekends lately even though I had significant things to do – primarily the completion of a sermon that I delivered this morning. The weekend was rich in God moments though. Friday night Steve and I had a wonderful evening at the home of friends of ours. It was one of those perfectly delightful evenings – great food; great company; great fellowhip. Such savored evenings are sabbaths in my life and it was a great way to usher in the weekend.
Saturday I worked all day on my sermon – pretty much straight from 10 am until 1:30 am. I took a break in the evening to walk outside and pray for the upcoming service, for God to work in lives, for personal matters. To walk and pray is very centering for me and I need to do it more often.
Sunday was a full day with preaching, a bridal shower for which I was hostess but it ended well with time with Steve. Dinner and then we went to see War of the Worlds. Interesting and intense movie. I had a similar reaction to the movie Signs with Mel Gibson. They have me appreciating the plot, the possibility of the story line until they throw in the funky aliens. Then, I have to surpress a giggle. I’m not sure why that is. I guess I just find the continued stereotypical "alien" presentation to be humorous. Large, odd shaped heads; lanky arms and legs . . . I’m pretty sure Spielberg wasn’t going for comedy but my blog deals with honesty so there ya go.
In my sermon this morning, I shared this quote from Billy Graham: "Unless the soul is fed and exercised daily, it becomes weak and shriveled. It remains discontented, confused, restless." This summer has thrown so many of my schedules into chaos. My diet and exercise program has been sporadic at best. I’m thankful that I have not gained weight but I haven’t been as committed as I was earlier this year. Time to get back to that routine. But even worse has been my neglect to my spiritual wellness. I was keenly aware of this lately and it was what prompted the theme of my sermon today. I have truly felt discontented and restless the past week or so – floundering as I was trying to function without meaningful and quality time with God. Rollo May says that "the ironic habit of human beings is that we run faster when we’ve lost our way." It is just like the classic scene in a movie where some guy is running in the jungle, swinging away at vines and leaves in front of him. He has lost his way and the more lost he feels, the faster he runs inevitably causing him to be even more lost than he was before. God has forced me to stop the last couple of days to just breathe, to take a look at where I’m at and how I got myself here. The past week I felt like I was spinning out of control from the inside out. I can handle my outside world being a little chaotic (as it usually is) but when my soul is chaotic, I am restless and franticly running in circles.
It would be very challenging to capture in words the difference in how I feel when my spirit is connected from God and when it is not. At this moment the best analogy that I can conjure up is this: On a warm, summer Saturday, you escape to the local zoo for an afternoon. You find yourself at the entrance to the Reptile building and decide to explore. You slowly walk down the path, hedged on both sides with cases of fascinating and frightening reptiles that make your skin crawl. You are fully aware of all that is around you but you feel safe because you can see. Then, in a flash, the lights go out and you are left in complete darkness, in surroundings that are unknown and with the very real images in your head of what is surrounding you behind thin veils of glass. There is an immediate frantic state that sweeps over you and you struggle to gain some symbolance of control over the situation. You pat down the walls as you inch forward – unsure of what you may accidentally grab hold of. You steps are uncertain and timid and you wonder if the turn you just made in absolute darkness is leading you to the nearest exit or taking you to the belly of the Reptile den. You continue to do this just long enough to where you feel absolutely helpless, lost, and begin feeling like every nasty spider has escaped and is crawling up your legs.
Then, the switch is flipped. Light floods the building. Two seconds and you finally realize that the hellish experience is over. You can see where you are at, where you need to go and that there are absolutely no spiders on you. The feeling at that moment . . .
Yep – that’s the difference.