Monday, July 29, 2013

My Still and Silent Sport




I did it again. Another week of sitting on the sidelines, watching athletes, or at least sports lovers, do their thing, Intensely. Passionately. Even with injury and pain. How can you be such an integral part of something you don't care about? It's the play of waterski camp that I don't care about. Just the skiing. That's only one third of the week's activity. Much joy and entertainment come out of watching others succeed, reach goals and have fun. That's what I do there. I rejoice with those who rejoice. I feed them, bandage their boo boos and listen to their hearts. All the while, praying for the week to bring them one step closer to the God I love and want to share with them.

 
It is a gem of a thought to understand that the outward activity is irrelevant to the inward. Paul said, "I have become all things, to all men, for the sake of the Gospel". I have become a waterskier for the sake of the Gospel. All winter long I am a hockey mom for the sake of the Gospel. God gave me sports loving children and husband. If I am going to relate and share in their lives, I need to stretch myself. Fortunately, no one is shoving a hockey stick or a long rope in my hands, but my watchful eyes, my clapping hands and cheering tongue are fully engaged. There is great joy in that involvement. The campers hopefully see a family working and playing together even with differences.


This week was a special blessing in our camp experience. My oldest son, in his final year as a camper along with our next door neighbor friend, as a new camp counselor, shared their testimonies with the campers. I sat tearful as I watched many years of prayers and loving these two boys bear fruit. My son, a few years younger than Johnboy, would sit by the window every day, waiting for him to jump off the bus to play. Johnboy's patience with this little kid was beautiful. This little kid's admiration for Johnboy was endearing. Growing up together. Growing away from each other. Now growing beside one another in Christ. Two young men now, handsome and tall share a hug. A brotherly hug. A mother watches from a distance holding joy deep in her heart. My own silent victory lap.

This isn't about waterskiing. It's about love. The love of God that transcends commonalities. It transcends time and distance and history. These boys followed very different paths and ended up for a moment, in the exact same place, recognizing their kinship and Kingship. This Agape love adds Philos love which fulfills the second greatest commandment. I don't have to love waterskiing to be in this place, just loving God with all my heart and the people around me is necessary. 

My best friends have always been jocks. My family members are sports nuts. I think I am destined to be a cheerleader...minus the short skirts and pom poms. I carry camera and Band-Aids. Or maybe I'm the coach...I do carry a clipboard and chew gum intensely. When the day is done and the athletes sleep, I paint a picture or write a story of sacred, privileged mother and wife moments. They need to be loved and that I am passionate about.




Thursday, July 18, 2013

Supernatural Hobo

 

"To find yourself, you've got to start right here."
 A line from a Keith Green song. 
Wandering minds and dreamy intentions can get lost and off-line from life. Why do we think that we have to go somewhere else or do something different in order to discover and arrive at the place we need to be? Circumstances and locations are not the cure to our maladies. Our problems are within us. We take them wherever we go, whatever we are doing, they are still there. As my Mother-in-law always says, "You can't run away from your personality". Nor can you run away from your problems. They go with you because they are problems within you, not dependent on the external person or situation. We let them be problems...when they don't really have to be. 

The key is to figure out how to take away their power and hold on you. I don't know exactly how to do that yet, so there won't be a perfect remedy in this scribbling...only a direction pointing. How do I distance myself, not from the people I love or my situation, but from their hold on the health of my soul? Finding my total wellness in Christ alone and free from the grip of earthly dependence. 
"You say you want to find a place where people are not lying.
If you find a place like that I'll go there too."
Another line in the song.
There is no such place...not here...not yet. So the writer is directing us to start right where we are. Wherever that is. In a beautiful mansion, a jail cell, a hospital bed, a high rise office, a suburban split-level or a dessert caravan. It doesn't matter who you find yourself yolked to in some way. A spouse, a business partner or a difficult child. It does not matter where you are or what you are doing, the treasure, the answer, the cure is in your soul. In your relationship with Jesus...or lack thereof. When He becomes so real and practical to my everyday, I become free from the problems. When I hear His words loud and clear, see His direction and experience the joy His presence, I become free. His love, power and beauty distract me from those stresses in my physical world. I live supernaturally.
Start in the morning. Drink deep in the morning. it's no where else but in His Word. Not in Yoga, not in exercise, not in healthy food, not in music and not in any other reading. Some of these can enhance the antidote, but can never replace. It is a potent Word. Without it, we just band-aid everything. Start here. Open the Word before anything else. Let Him speak to your bruised and bleeding soul. Let Him direct you and comfort you like only the Perfect can.

I love people. I love accomplishments and living life to the fullest. But I can't love these things more than Jesus. My fear is not that zeal for these things will diminish, but that they will become my god. That I will need them to be "just so" for my happiness...it'll never happen. They need to take a back seat to the Jesus and me relationship. It's the only thing I can control and has no boundaries. I can take it anywhere into any situation and have the joy at my asking. Freedom. The grass in not greener on the other side. More green can't fix you or your problems. More green is only good for vitamins and paying the bills...both of which offer temporary, surface help. Go for the eternal.

I have run to the end of the highway and not found what I've been looking for. To find yourself, you have to lose yourself...right where you are. The world will tell you the opposite...how is it doing? I happen to be listening to the theme song for the show LOST as I write...Life and Death. The show quite reflects our battle over truth, life and death. The one thing I might agree with concerning the show...besides the fact that Evangeline Lilly and Josh Holloway are beautiful people...is that you have to get lost to find the truth. Lose yourself for Him. Free fall into Jesus. Right where you are...in whatever situation you might be in. Let Him free you in a stationary vacation. The only luggage you'll need is prayer and the Word of God.