Open Mic Confessions
Kat and I bought a few Christmas presents early, and one of these is Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz, which I got for my dad. It's one of those selfish gifts. It's a book I'd like to read and, based on what friends have told me, a book that I think will change my dad for the better - or at least so he can relate to me better. As Allen Levi spoke of, I'm the little boy who buys his mother a football for her birthday. So, in the true spirit of selfishness, I thought I'd read the book first. It's not exactly the same as unwrapping the cd you got for your friend so you can listen, but it's close enough. It's a book where a man is honest and passionate and tells stories of people who are passionate. And thankfully, by the pricking of the Holy Ghost, this has stirred me to something that will hopefully resemble action. By the way, if I sound like Donald Miller in my writing this time, it's because I've been reading him. I'm one of those folks who watches Pirates of the Caribbean and then spends a few deluded hours talking like and thinking as a pirate. So, moving on.
That action that I spoke of is a desperately precious commodity for me. I'm not one to pick up the Bible every day or pray every day other than "God, I need you to get through this day" - an all too often chanted mantra that is unrepentantly unaccompanied by stillness and listening. And thankfulness. The verses from Romans 1 echo through me now. Because they did not find it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind. And the verses from Ezekiel. If I say to a man, 'You will die in your sin,' and you do not warn him, and he does not turn from his sin.....I will hold you accountable for his blood. These make me think, "How many opportunities do I take to spill blood on my hands by fear or fear disguised as politeness? How many times do I refuse to find a loving way to be involved with someone's life when they clearly need it?"
A partner at work the other day thanked me for standing up for her to our coworkers. I think that she was pleasantly surprised that a Christian had stood up for someone whom the other Christians seemed to refuse to affirm. Truth is, the behavior of my brothers and sisters frustrated me. But my partner's words to me only remind me of how much I decidedly lack in the area of love and evangelism. I believe that truth spoken not in love might as well be no truth at all. But this does not excuse me from being unashamed of the gospel of Christ when I am without a microphone and a guitar. You know, I have plenty to ask for, and thank for, and listen to in the matter of prayer. And yet the time I spend is precious little. It feels like something will give if I don't pursue God. He has certainly pursued me to the bitter end and back. I am quite tired of myself. I have great success as a person with a job and being worldly self-sufficient. But as to my self, this is a thing that I am as likely to change as the weather. And I can't really survive much longer on these fumes of spirituality.