February 28, 2012

Cambridge Maryland

I have a little conversation with almost every “cash register person” I encounter… it goes something like this. I begin with “So, how are you today?” Usually they say rather apathetically “I’m fine.” I then counter with “are you really fine or are you just telling me you’re fine?” They then often say “well, I’ll be fine in _______ hours when I get done with work.” And I end the conversation by saying “Don’t wish your life away, it will pass quickly enough!” I should say that this does not represent EVERY conversation. Sometimes they really are good and their attitude expresses that. And other times I can’t ask my question because the cashier is too busy complaining to the bagger that they have not yet had their break, or they have worked too many hours, or any number of other inane things that have nothing to do with their job, or with being polite to the customer! In case you may not have noticed, this is a thing with me!!!

Well, back to the point. I am now in my last week here at Cambridge. I am ready to move along but I am trying really hard to embrace these last few days. I really don’t want to wish my time away. The geese seem fewer these days. I’ll actually miss them along with their honking. I saw two more bald eagles last Friday in a corn field while I was on the way to get some groceries. They looked like they were playing. I’m sure I’ll see more of them when I return home to Mt. Vernon. I just looked out the window and a heron is right in front of me “fishing”. He slowly walks through the shallows waiting to plunge his head into the murky water.

As I sit here right now I don’t really know what to say about these past two months. Many things have passed through my mind. I have read more in these two months than in any time since my seminary days. Most if not all of the books have been helpful or entertaining. Some of them have been difficult and required me to think more than I was want. There have been days on end when I have not heard another human voice… even my own… that isn’t as strange as one might think. I don’t really long for the company of others…that in itself is odd to me. I do however long greatly for my family.

I have sought after God in a variety of ways… prayer, attentiveness to what is going on around me, reading… I can’t say I have a long list of revelations… likely because I’m thick…  But I will share with you the one thing that has been affirmed over and over. And that one thing is not a “what”, but a “who.” I am overcome by the notion that Jesus is not a concept, but a person. One in whom I can be a part of through the Holy Spirit. You know the song “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there’s just something about that name…” I think so many have missed the significance of this little chorus. It’s not about the 5 letter word “J-e-s-u-s”. Nor is it referring to the 2 syllable word Je-sus… like there is some “magic” in repeating it over and over again. It’s all about the use of the word “name.” i.e. “…just something about that ‘name’.” In biblical parlance that means “totality of being.” In other words there is something about the totality of who Jesus is. He is Lord, Savior, Mediator, King of Kings… He came to die… was resurrected and now reigns in heaven, continuing to pray for us and relate to us on behalf of the Father and to the Father on behalf of us through the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s the “who” of the faith. That’s the One whom we are called to be a part of. There is nothing in the church or the world that is above that. Nothing. When we lose sight of that we go down a path that is outside of the “who” of Jesus.

Scripture uses the phrases on a number of occasions that “our paths are made straight” or, “our paths are made crooked.” The reference here is generally to the notion that things will either be headed in the right direction, or they will be difficult. It is my prayer that your path is straight toward Jesus. Do not be distracted by the enticing, seemingly important things of this world. Keep your eyes on Him.

I have enjoyed writing these updates. I have no idea how many of you bother to read them….that’s ok.  They have been helpful for me.


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