Friday, May 6, 2011

Rinse and Repeat, Repeat...

I haven’t written in a long time (much to the dismay of the 5 people who read this blog).  I haven’t been motivated to write. I guess you could call I writer’s block…but most of the time I write about what happens in life so I guess the only way I could get true writer’s block is if I was dead…or if my hands were cut off in a freak pencil sharpener accident and I no longer had the ability to type or write. There has been no shortage of things to write about…yet I don’t write. I have been waiting…waiting for something spectacular to happen. Some gigantic God moment that would write an entire book full of blog pages by itself.

I dream about things I wish I could write sometimes. Sometimes I think maybe a building will suddenly explode and I will have to rush into the burning pile of debris to save a new born baby and a box of kittens…or maybe Then I would write blogs like you wouldn’t believe.

But it hasn’t happened…and until today I was content waiting to write until something big happened. But all that changed today when I was reading in my Bible about Elijah and his encounter with God on a mountain. (1 Kings 19…if you are interested in reading) This is a beautiful piece of writing…vs. 11 says, “The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by…” That is what I have been waiting for! Don’t misunderstand me…God works in my life each and everyday and I am very thankful for the growth he has produced in my life…but I was waiting for something more. Something spectacular.

I believe Elijah was waiting for the same thing. The Bible says that while he was on the mountain a rush of wind came and tore the mountain apart, an earthquake shook the earth, and a fire burned. If you were on mountain when all of that happened…you could write a pretty sweet blog! That’s way better than a box of burning kittens. Maybe even 15 people would read it. But it is interesting that they write nothing more about these three natural disasters…in fact it is written that God was not in the wind, earthquake, or fire.

His voice came in a gentle whisper…

When the world was quiet…that’s when God spoke.

We all want something spectacular. We all long for adventure…we all want to be amazed. If you’re a Christian I hope you desire to see God to something huge because our God is a big God and capable of doing more than we ask or think. (Eph. 3:20)

But God is also in the whispers. He is present and he speaks to us in even the most mundane and normal of life’s experiences. Don’t miss what he is saying.

Now for most of you who read this blog on a regular basis you are about to get more than usual because this has just been the introduction…and for others of you who are bored already…sorry…I don’t write to entertain you.

God has been teaching me through whisper lately. The experiences of my life have his finger prints all over them. Every action I take is known by him before I take it. Every breath is numbered and every day is an opportunity to see him work.

I have been amazed lately at the repetition of life. And I believe this is why I didn’t write for so long…everything just seemed the same as it was the day before. The days of my life are like a series of waves, each beautiful and powerful. I am thankful for each one and there are certainly lessons from each that I could write about. But after the first wave comes another one just like it. So do I write about all of them? That would be more boring for you than listening to a man talk about the 463 different varieties of 3 ring binders available at Staples. So I write about the repetition it self…

Think about how repetitive your life is…at least mine is…

Just about every morning I get up at 6:15am. And I would like to say I go down stairs and ride my bike for 30 minutes but that hasn’t become part of the repetition yet because I am lazy. Instead, I go give my wife a hug and kiss goodbye before she leaves for work and then I go back to bed for an hour. When I actually wake up, I roll out of bed, turn off the fan, crack my toes and proceed with the male morning itching ritual. After that I take a shower, get dressed, forget my lunch on the counter, and leave for work.

Every morning I am at work by 8 am. And for the first half hour I make coffee, read email, make sure my students are staying out of trouble by reading all the way through my news feed on Facebook, and write out my plan for the day on my mini white board. Then at 8:30 I have a standing appointment with the porcelain throne…(I know my mother is saying my name right now in a way only mothers know how because I am talking about BM’s on a public blog site…but don’t worry mom, I read a book called “Everyone Poops” by Taro Gomi so its ok) At that’s my routine for most of my mornings…and it’s just that… routine…another wave that looks just like the last one.

Even life’s peaks are repetitive, you have an exciting life experience…and then you go back to normal life. Then you have another exciting experience…and then you go back to normal life experience.  

And for many people this is frustrating…they read books about how to make their lives more interesting and they get depressed because God isn’t showing up in the fire, or the earthquake…and no one takes time to listen to him in the whisper…our routines are far to busy for that.
I believe one of the most heart breaking and convicting passages of scripture is found at the end of John’s gospel. Jesus is questioning Peter and he asks him three times, “Peter, do you love me?” And three times (The same number of times Peter denied knowing Christ) Peter says that he does love Jesus. And three times Jesus then instructs him to take care of and feed his sheep. Repetition.

And for Peter it was painful. The very person he had denied just before he was put to death was now asking for him to prove his love…not just in word or in deed.

I believe this is the repetition of a Christians life…even though we have believed in his work on the cross and confessed him as Lord of our lives (Romans 10:9-10) …still every day Jesus asks me, “Eric, do you love me?” And my response must be more than words…it must be or I am just an annoying noise in the ear of my savior. Our routine, our repetition in life is to love God. DC Talk had a song called Luv is a Verb. And although their hair styles and clothes remain ridiculous…they had the message right. Love is our routine, our action, our life.

Your life will no doubt involve repetition…but as long as that repetition contains a daily answer to Jesus’ call to love him your life will never be boring. In fact, it is in this repetition that we find life, and life to the full. (John 10:10) So I hope repetition becomes a whisper through which God speaks to you. I hope you say along with Jesus every day, “…the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my father has commanded me.”

Are you loving Jesus today? How?

Thanks for Reading!