God-hunger

I like the Snickers commercials. The premise is that you’re not yourself when you’re hungry. You behave like a totally different person and you have no idea why. Then you get food and realize: oh! I was just hungry!  

When I was a kid I remember every time I would get upset about something my family would exchange glances and ask one another when was the last time I ate. I have learned to spot my signs of hunger. Irritability, mental confusion, shakiness are all symptoms that prompt me to check my stomach and consider whether or not I might need food.

Wish you were here. But glad you’re not.

I’m writing this in a small cabin in the Scottish Highlands.  And I might wish you were here so that you could see it, but I could never wish that because I am so glad that no one is here.

He’s here of course, heavy and thick around me and impossible to ignore. That’s the way He tends to be when all you see is His creation, uninterrupted in all its unfiltered glory; when all you hear is His voice and no other voices or sounds, but the wind and the rain.

It’s 2015 now.  The year of promise.  Promise of flying skateboards and floating cities in outer space and borderline immortality. Instead we have the internet and cell phones and other such tools that offer unlimited options and one single obstacle: being truly and deeply alone.  It feels almost impossible to find a place in this world where you become unreachable to others, and they become unreachable to you.  It feels unnatural and borderline unhealthy to even try to find such a place.

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It’s an important discipline: solitude.  There is this space we all must carve out where we cannot be reached and where we will not reach out.  Places we will go into alone and take no one and nothing with us except our souls and the Soul Maker.

It’s a terrifying thing for some of us: solitude.  We are kept from it by fear of boredom or loneliness or isolation blaming our personality or our schedules.  It is a discipline for a reason, because it’s against our flesh – to be cut off from the things that distract us; to be forced to listen and forced to hear.  A terrifying and necessary thing.

We live in an extroverted world.  And how grateful I am for the gifts of the extrovert-culture.  It forces introverts to live out their worst nightmares.  Forces us all to push through the challenging work of sharing ourselves with other humans so that we might receive the blessing of being known.

But have we stopped forcing one another to push through the challenge of solitude and silence so that we might receive the blessing of deeper intimacy with God?  When was the last time you were alone? Really alone. Not driving in your car, not before you fall asleep at night, but dedicated and pursued time alone with your Maker?  Phone turned off.  Unreachable.  Willing to miss out on all the world that you might gain Him.  In your closet or in your cabin long enough that you began to run out of things to say or think about.  Because there is something to discover in the panicked fear of boredom and strange fear that creeps in with extended isolation.  There are things to learn if you will push through the feelings and wait until there is nothing left to do but talk and listen to the God who hungers to speak to you.

There are words you have read a thousand times that demand to be heard and will not compete with the noise of the world.  There are truths to feast upon that refuse to hurried, refuse to be rushed.  There are spiritual meals so complicated and glorious that they cannot be prepared and consumed in the five minutes you throw heavenward before you rush out the door to work.

There is Man who wants more of you than you feel comfortable giving.  And He longs to get you alone so that you will have no distractions and no where to hide while the crushing weight of His presence pushes down on you with all it’s weighted glory until you find that the thing you fear most is the thing you were looking for all along.

3 things to do this Valentine’s Day

I love Valentine’s Day.  Thanks to my dad and to sweet friends growing up I always associated V-Day with expressing love to those you love, (and not just romantically). Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 2.42.17 PM

But everyone has a different Valentine’s Day experience.  With that in mind, here are three things I’m trying to do as I navigate today:

(1) Give grace.

Give grace to people who hate V-day.  Give grace to people who love it.  No one is trying to personally diminish your singleness by going on a date tonight.  No one is trying to devalue marriage with their skepticism about February 14.

How to deal with needy graspy Fabs

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My flesh is graspy today.

It’s clingy and needy; it’s panicked and scared that there is no more food coming.  And it is so loud today – so angry and so desperate – that my inner man wrapped in the Spirit doesn’t seem strong enough to quiet it.

I am tempted to follow my flesh; to feed it to quiet it down.  To make friends with it.

But I have the fuel I need to walk by the Spirit right here in His Word.

And that changes everything.

The 13th Amendment & Christmas

This morning, in church, I couldn’t stop thinking about ‘Lincoln’ (the movie I saw last night).  I couldn’t stop thinking about how it must have felt – to be a slave back in the 1800s and hear the news that you were free.

It’s hard for me to comprehend the joy that must have rushed through their hearts; the celebration that would have seized slaves everywhere.

And that makes me a little sad.

Because I should be able to comprehend that joy.  It’s my joy in Christmas.13th