Warning: I’m feeling romantic.
I always wonder how people like Ann Voskamp do it. How does she live in a state of awareness and gratitude… all the time? Tonight it’s easy for me. Tonight I’m thrilled because I climbed into a plane and flew west. I shouldn’t have flown. I was the third person flying standby on a full flight. But three people didn’t show, and so I got to go. While I was flying a woman named Marie told me that the good Lord had something special for me. I dozed off and when I woke we were sailing past a snow capped mountain, the snow all lit up from the moonlight, the peaks standing at attention, waiting for the blood moon. And we sailed by so silently and so slowly.
And I am aware and I am in awe and I am grateful. But how do I stay here when things are not this romantic? My friend posts pictures of her little girl in sweet moments and I know she, too, has been gifted with moments of sight. Pictures with ice cream, pictures with sunsets and shoelaces. We can’t see like that all the time, but we try.
“Abide in my word and you will be my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Jesus said that. We want freedom. We need it. We were made to sail past mountains and see our little girl’s hair in the sunlight and look at our spouses in awe that a whole other person bound themselves to us or that God has deemed we be single that we can know him and serve the Lord undivided. We were made to accept our lives with gratitude. We were made to be free. But in order to be free we have to know the truth. God loves us. He is in THIS moment. He hears our prayers and he answers them. EVERYTHING, even evil is subject to him. But in order to know his truth we have to be his disciples, and in order to be his disciples we have to abide. Don’t have time to abide? Then you don’t have time to be free, and your soul will be hungry and then it will lose its soulishness and God forbid, you may not care that you lost your freedom.
Freedom rarely comes quickly. We abide. We make small decisions to trust Jesus and to believe him, and he frees us.
Lord, show us the way. “I am the way,” Jesus says. Him. Jesus. We can only come right now, just as we are and say, “Lord, have mercy, free me.” We can only come right now, just as we are and say, here is my thought: I am afraid. I am numb. I am sick with my self-medication. I am too busy. I have my own plans. Then we hold that thought up to the truth and we choose which to hold onto. Jesus is here. In this space where I am writing and the space you are reading and all the spaces in between. He waits to cleanse us from our sins. May we wake up in this present moment, may we abide and by abiding be set free.