Friday, July 13, 2012

pursuit of different

Sometimes it feels impossible to live here in the mire and not become it.  Sin invades and pervades and we forget our identity as citizens [Philippians 3:20] of a place with no mire.  I see hypocrisy in faces I never thought possible of such filth, and then the mirror is turned and my own face is even more disgusting.

And more than so many other pursuits, I want to be different.

He says that I am.

"Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come."  - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (GNT)

“Praying means breaking through the veil of existence and allowing yourself to be led by the vision which has become real to you.  Whatever we call [God], we repeatedly assert that it is not we ourselves who possess the power to make the new creation come to pass.  It is rather a spiritual power which has been given to us and which empowers us to be in the world without being of it.” - Henri Nouwen

And herein lies the turmoil of cross-bearers, of Christ-followers: it will indeed take our entire lives on earth in pursuit of holiness, failing along the way and needing more grace, to finish the race well.  Falling is a part of the Way to Him.  

But we wish it weren't so.

I had coffee in the hot sun with one of my longest-lasting spiritual guides yesterday.  She has a couple more years than I do [alright, so maybe a couple more decades too, but each day makes her more beautiful to me for the glory of wisdom she exudes].  And what struck me most?  She is still reaching and will continue until her last breath for this - holiness.  Though she hasn't reached the completion of it, she remains undeterred, stretching with open hands for that which He holds in His endless supply of grace. The thing {forgive me, writing professor, I know better than to use that word} indescribable and in some ways unattainable, and nonetheless desired - restoration.

"For He Himself has said, 'You must be holy because I am holy.'" -1 Peter 1:16 (NLT)

This written by Peter, the Rock.  He who denied Christ yet received grace with open hands, when on that same day Judas had also denied Him, but clenched fists around control and self-inflicted payment.  Peter, who knew hypocrisy more than once in the mirror, and yet grew into his holiness garments until the end, wrote to us a reminder to be holy.  

Holy.  Different.  Changed.  New.  Set Apart.  Restored.  

And oh, how I want that.

And so I reach today.  I don't want to be like Judas.  Don't want this mire all around.  Long for my Home and pray that my thirst never wanes for it.  Reaching is draining, wearing, and wearying.  Sometimes I'm not motivated for reaching toward the different-holy.  Those days I need The Personal Trainer of my soul to kick my rear-end hard and drill the vision of heaven into me again.  Or sometimes I need the encouraging words of my Daddy to say He believes in me and wants to hold my hand along the way.  And I love that He knows what will be most effective based on who I am and what I face in that uniquely-needy moment.

"Grow upward, as trees, and seek My face.  Dwell deep, as the lake, and know My fullness and quiet.  And move ever, always, determinedly onward as the brook does; and keep the outflow of your life ever in motion."  - Frances J. Roberts

Holiness requires endless motion.

Lord, I reach.  I stretch.  I push.  I pull.  I move toward You.  Closer to Your Grace.  Nearer to the woman you envisioned me to become before you even knit my genes.  She is holy.  Not holier-than-thou, but indeed holier-than-this.  And though it is not entirely possible without mistakes and hurdles, I don't want to cease the reaching.  The pursuit of that which is different. I know I need Your help.  I ask for it again today and receive it openly.  

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written, my thoughts would come across more abrasive but you have such a gentle spirit. Thanks for sharing with all, I enjoy reading and being encouraged.