February 17, 2013


I said that 2013 was the year of being fearless. Except there's been a shit ton of fear so far in the last month in a half. Somewhere in all of this I became aware of one simple thing . . . being fearless and tackling the future, my dreams and all that may lie ahead, will not come without work. Saying that 2013 is the year of being fearless means absolutely nothing without the work to make it so.

But that's not the only thing. There's more. There's so much more. It won't be written in this space. The rest will be saved for a novel I write later. Or for when I finally put my own story on paper. Trust me when I say the more has led me to this belief that I need a radical change. I need to be fearless. No doubt. But I also need radical, physical, absolute reformation of my heart and desires. Now.

I don't really want that. Not really. I've been okay, for a very long while, with being completely cool with the status quo. But the status quo has never been what I'm called to. As long as I've been conscious of the spiritual and emotional aspects of life, I've known that to be true.

So this pull towards radical change has come at me kind of hard - especially in the last few days. After facing my heart's condition and facing a lonely heart that was more in charge of me than the God who loves me, I knew something had to change.

I've never been a Lent person. I didn't grow up in a church (the denomination I grew up in) that talked about Lent even. When I went to Biola it kind of became a thing though. Even though so many of us were of the Evangelical persuasion - liturgy in any form was what all the cool kids were doing. And so where church traditions that so many of our parents, and as a result, us, had thrown off. It was odd as I think back on it now - student after student wanted to be different, to be on the edge and different than everyone else in the church and yet so many were drawn back to these old church ways.

Anyway, I never really was. I'd think about it, consider it and mull it all over. But when push came to shove, I couldn't make sense of the purpose so I never gave anything up for Lent. I didn't walk around campus on Ash Wednesday - with an ash on my forehead asking for everyone to look at me and see my holiness. That's what it felt like to me, you know? Look at me, I'm holy. 

Why would I give up something so meaningless as coffee {insert your thing here} as a supposed signal of my self-denial in preparation for Easter and its radical transformation of all of human history? What's the point? I mean . . . Jesus finished it. Right? His was the ultimate sacrifice - his very life. Why go further? What could my meaningless denial mean? Right?

Fast forward to today. I'm past the start of Lent by a few days. But I've known for awhile that I've needed to give my undivided attention to this God that loves me beyond reason and my ability to understand. Thirty days is what I need to give. Thirty days of focus. Thirty days of letting go. Thirty days of releasing some crutches. Thirty days of facing the lonely heart. Thirty days of Him and not him who my heart is focused on. Thirty days of trying His way. And thirty days of choosing to place my focus on this love I can't understand versus the temptations of the moment. Thirty days of the hard shit versus the ease of faithless living. It is thirty days of the work radical faith {that can also mean utter loneliness to me} that I need.

So while it may not take me to Maundy Thursday {or maybe it will?} it will definitely take me to March 19, 2013. Thirty days. He wants thirty days. I don't know what it will do. I don't know what the point is. I know what I'm giving up. I have a list. I won't post it here or anywhere else. But there are some things - and not some easy things, that I need to step away from for at least the next thirty days.

February 18th is day one. I hope my heart will grow quieter so as to "hear" what really matters. I hope that in the next thirty days of letting go, I see Him. Because this is kind of all I have left to give. It's a tiny, tiny sliver of faith. Tiny. But it's what I've got.

"if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

1 comment:

Cynthia Avalos said...

My prayer for you.