Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jarred In

Hello readers.  Welcome to my heart.  Let's begin.

I remember the endless hours of basketball in the cul-de-sac where I grew up.  All of the neighborhood kids would gather at my basketball goal and we'd play pick up games for hours upon hours.  And even in the middle of an intense game, we all possessed the engrained alarm system of being home before the street lights come on.  The quick flicker and soft buzzing always could be heard even among the bouncing of the ball and the trash talking back and forth.  But I remember the nights when we would choose to hit the snooze on the alarm and stay outside because of----them.  Them? You ask.  Them, the reminder that longer days and warmer temperatures was on the way.  Them, the reminder that school was almost out and summer vacation would be soon beginning.  Them, the essence of Spring nights with their captivating presence, made them worth the potential butt whooping for being late getting into the house.  Them, were the lightning bugs (or fireflies).

We enjoyed them.  We'd chase them.  We'd try to predict their next appearance.  That was always the fun part.  And after awhile, one of us got "smart", (ME), and decided to get a jar to capture a few.  That actually intensified the chase because I was actually trying to catch the bugs.  Couldn't remember if it was for me or a girl, but either way, I HAD TO CAPTURE ONE.

And I finally did.

We celebrated.  Share some high fives.  Some envied.  I ignored them and ran into the house to enjoy my capture.  I ran into my room and closed my door and shut off the lights.  I sat the jar on my dresser and watched as the lightning bug continued its flashing.  But, it was different.  The excitement was different.  The joy of it was different.  The light was even dimmer.  I wasn't chasing it.  There was no thrill.  It's next appearance was predictable.  I flopped down on the edge of my bed in disappointment, unsure why it wasn't as cool anymore.  Then my mom called me into the kitchen for dinner only to return to it lying dead in the bottom of my jar.

How many of us try to do that with God?

I went to Saturate this past Saturday, which is a SWITCH Fasting and Prayer Retreat.  And of course, I was expecting to feel the presence of God.  So the singing begins, and I try to pour myself into it, like I always do.  Hands raised, eyes closed, singing loud, ad-libbing, like I always do.  I mean, this is true worship, right? This is when we experience God the best...right?  

No, don't fool yourself.

At the retreat during the singing, I couldn't just find that moment where I was just taken away in the worship experience.  So I went and sat down and just starred at the big screen with the lyrics showing on it.  And I started to pray the lyrics.  And boom, I connected to my living God!  And then it hit me,

"I was trying to jar my God into only moving in me through singing."

I was wanting to jar or box my God in, limit Him, only thinking He can move in my heart through one form.  Just like the lightning bugs, there's an excitment in the contrast, in the unpredicatability.  The lightning bugs were beautiful to me because of the contrast, the random flashes of light with the backdrop of a dark sky.  The lightning bugs were exciting to me because I couldn't predict where they would end up next, and because of that, I could chase them.  Sometimes they looked to be flying right in front of me, so I'd stop and wait for it to show itself again.  And sometimes they look to be flying further away, so I would have to run and catch up with it.  There's an excitement there, an unpredictability.  

If your spiritual walk isn't exciting anymore, maybe it's because you're trying to jar God.  Let's see, what are the different types of jars?  Maybe you think its only during singing, or found in dancing and shouting, or making God proud by your legalisitc movitations to do what's right....and I'm sure there are many others.  The quest is to find what your jar is, and remove the top and free that expectation of God.  Check this verse out.

"Seek, and you will find.  Knock, and the door will be opened to you."  Matthew 7:7. I know all of us are educated, but, I wanted to look up the definition of seek.  And it says, "An attempt to find something, an attempt or desire to obstain or achieve."  So, let's substitute.  "Attempt to find me, and you will find." Wouldn't be an exciting God if we could actually capture Him once we found Him, but that's the point.  We can't capture God.  We can't make Him do what we want. The verse is almost like a dare.  Attempt to find me, see if you can.  I may show you Myself over here, but the next time you find me, I might be over here.

I love God dares us to seek Him.  I love He dares us to try to find Him, because He could very well show up somewhere different the next time we see Him.

So what's your jar?

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