Skip to main content

A stirring stick

The journey you travel - what does it look like for you today? Some of us have been on a dead-end journey for a while, kind of just going along, but not really getting to anywhere worth all the effort. It is indeed hard to correct a course when it has been going along for quite some time, even when it is not getting us to where we want to be, isn't it? It is like we get way too comfortable just plodding along on that journey - not really satisfied, but comfortable because we 'know' the course well. When we say 'yes' to Jesus, we find ourselves making some immediate course corrections, and others come along the way that we didn't even know we'd be asked to make, but we make them. The first ones may be a little easier than the latter - maybe because we are experiencing God's grace and redeeming power in a very special way at that point in our lives. When the latter course corrections have to come, we may not be as excited about them because they will be a little harder, getting at a little deeper stuff in our character that we have buried, denied, or even not really know was there. Those are the hard corrections, but they are also some of the most rewarding.

Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God. (I Peter 1:18-19)

Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God - that pretty well sums it up, doesn't it? This 'deep consciousness' isn't just instantaneous in our lives. Conscious appreciation of all that God asks of us and how he works in our lives is kind of a 'learned thing'. You have to keep exposing yourself to it and then eventually it kind of 'sticks'. I watched a show the other night that was a little 'gross' in terms of what this African tribe does to stay well nourished in the barrenness of the desert. They actually 'blood-let' their cattle and mix that blood with the cow's milk and then drink it. While it absolutely made me gag to even think of such a thing, I observed something quite interesting. They took a stick and stirred the cow's blood vigorously for a good few minutes. During that time, the 'solid parts' of the blood began to congeal and stick to the sides of that stick. That congealed part was good food for the dogs, but it wasn't what they consumed. They consumed what was left - the 'purer' parts of the blood. The stick and stirring did something - it brought together the stuff that wasn't needed and then it could easily be removed from the mixture. 

In many ways, the consciousness we maintain in our journey with God is kind of like having a big stick constantly 'stirring up' the stuff in us that doesn't belong and needs to be removed from the 'mixture' in our lives. As we think upon his scriptures, enjoying quiet time in his presence, and then talk with him about the things he is showing us, the stick is stirring and the 'not so good parts' of our lives are beginning to cling together. In time, because of our continual consciousness of him and his presence, we can actually see the things being 'removed' from our lives that don't really serve any good purpose for our journey. The stirring of our lives is oftentimes something we resist - we don't like things being 'disrupted'. I have said this before, but it bears repeating - God disturbs our present because he is preparing us for our future. Out of chaos he brings order. We may not know what needs to be removed from our lives, but along the way, God stirs and stirs. In time, those things we have held onto for so long begin to 'hold onto' his 'stirring stick' and then at the point when he knows the things we need to let go of are firmly attached to the 'stirring stick', he takes them away and we are left with nothing but the best. It is hard to be 'stirred', but considering what happens when we are, I think the stirring process is kind of neat! Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,