I think that maybe, that’s what I need, God.
To recalibrate my mind. My soul.
But I can’t seem to do it. I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I am failing.
He makes it sound so easy. He makes it sound so cross-stitch. He makes it sound so memorizable.
But it’s not.
Well, it is memorizable. But it’s not so easy.
To deliberately and systematically and with great determination fight against the pull to conform to this world takes a great deal of energy. At least, it seems that way. The world gets so in the way. I get in the way. I am in the way.
And then, Paul goes on to provide a sort of laundry-list of what marks a true Christ follower. Stuff like “ Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” And much more. Rejoice. Be patient. Be constant. Be all the things that I wish I was. Do all the things that I say I’m going to do. Be hospitable. Abhor the evil. Do not seek vengeance, Overcome evil with good. Love with brotherly love.
But, God, I am failing. At all of those things.
Sin is easy, God. This list from Paul is not. Sin is the easy route. I like to pride–ugly, constant pride–myself on not ever taking the easy road in life, as sort of a ‘badge of courage”, but that’s not really true. I do take the easy road. So often. I take it in the form of cynicism. Of bitterness. Of building a fort around both my mind and soul–impenetrable. Granite. I feel nothing God.
Nothing but blinding cold out here on the beach. At 5:17 am. Goodness, it is bitter cold. Much colder than I thought it would be. I wanted the idea of “church on the beach” during this last full day here at the condo. I suppose I wanted some “kum-by-yah” moment, as ridiculous as that sounds. I wanted to see the sunrise this morning. I wanted to see evidence of you. I wanted to be able to echo Thomas in seeing that evidence. But my soul, it is cold out here. Shockingly so, the wind off the ocean. And dark. This wasn’t what I expected.
But maybe this is what I need. Maybe this is what I deserve.
Not the beauty of the sunrise. Not the stereotypical “O, look, I see God in the sunrise” experience. Maybe what I need–maybe what I deserve–is the shock of the cold out here. I’m huddled under a stolen blanket to protect my laptop (I most certainly should not have this down here–I didn’t think that through. God? Do you protect laptops?) from ocean spray and blowing sand, but it’s still so cold. This plastic chair I also stole from our deck to bring down here offers little protection as well. My fingers burn from the cold. My nose is runny. My ears are numb. And my eyes are full of tears–not because I’m sad. I’m not. If anything, I’m sinfully angry.
Ok, maybe there is some sadness, as well. Complete honesty and all that, I suppose. But that’s not why there are tears. No, these tears are because this crazy cold wind keeps forcing the tears out. I can barely see to type.
The cold is shocking.
When a heart is experiencing an attack and stops beating, the paramedics grab the defibrillator to shock it back into rhythm.
God, shock my soul back into rhythm, here on this beach.
Recalibrate my soul to the gospel, God. I don’t need a tune-up. I don’t need a jump-start. I don’t need a vacation.
I need a shock. A life-giving shock.
Recalibrate my soul, o God.