Monday, February 22, 2016

The Battle to Behold Beauty In The Everyday

 Sloth and frantic busyness are two sides of a pendulum.  I slept in today.  There’s always a niggling voice when I sleep in saying; “You are wasting the day away!” The voice doesn’t realize that being busy isn’t necessarily a sign of accomplishing anything either.  It feels like stuff has been accomplished though so we feel better.

The mountains are still snow-capped.  It is seventy plus degrees outside with a cooling wind.  Today’s bicycle ride was wonderful; I don’t know if it was the sleep or the change in weather but I felt exhilarated.  I pedaled and thought about beauty. 

I queued Queen on Spotify---don’t ask me why.  Listening to ‘You Take My Breath Away,’ I remembered why. I enjoy their music.  Though not the gospel music I usually listen to; there’s a beauty that overarches the earthiness of most of Mercury.

There are blocks of time; days and weeks of gray where I live in-between busy and sloth where I just go to work; come home to my wife, touch base with my kid—then do it all over again.  God still exists during these times; I barely live like He does.  It’s a slow-motion-blur. 

When I’m in the mountains or at the beach I think, “It would be great to live here.”  I would miss the beauty living those places as much as I skip over and miss the beauty living life where I’m at.  This noticing beauty; this breathing out thanksgiving, is (like so much of life) a discipline.  A battle to behold beauty in the everyday. 

So I remind myself again (How many times, Lord?) to live fully when the pendulum is swinging hard to busy or bending slow to sloth.  And in the in-between times I trust grace and lean on beauty trusting she’ll pull me out of the gray.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Intimacy---Sometimes I Say Things Trembling

My wife has seen me naked-emotionally.  We’ve shared card we’ve held close for a long time.  There are two sides to intimacy.  Ideally there are two people (at least).  It opens doors to closeness.  Used against you it will rip you right open.

Marriage is an intimate institution.  It’s difficult to get around that.  You’re going to see stuff; you’re going to share stuff.  In my first marriage I shared too much.  Being honest; seeking intimacy only lent fuel to the fire.  Sharing flesh and bone; one doesn’t expect the same sinew to be used as a weapon.

In this, my second marriage, God has flipped everything that was wrong with my first to be as it was intended.  Sharing intimate secrets and being vulnerable (not always intentionally) have brought greater intimacy and depth.  Safe and secure in commitment allows us to go deeper.  Don’t get me wrong—it’s still scary as heck.  Sometimes I say things trembling.

Relating to God should be intimate as well.  He already knows my every thought, right?  But how do I live that out?  When I’m stumbling in darkness, when my thoughts cause me shame---I can share with God.  When food or sex or life makes me laugh—I can share with God.  I delight in that intimacy.  It too is a safe place.  Though yes---sometimes I say things trembling.

We live in a guarded world.  So much time is spent shining the outside of the container while inside, Jesus said, its full of rot and death.  To live honestly means we live intimately.  The problem is the same as my first marriage.  This world is not a safe place.  I don’t know how to do it apart from Jesus.  Heck; many followers of Christ play it safe and fake too.  Christ makes it possible.  Though it still takes an act of will.  He is steady-I lean on Him.  Though yes, sometimes I say things, and oh, oh, I’m trembling.