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In my entire being

July 13, 2006

You know that scene in “Ever After”: when Danielle and the Prince are in the monastery looking at all the books? And Danielle is talking about how her father used to read to her all the time? After reflecting for a moment, Henry comes back with this:

Prince Henry in the monastery

bq. In all of my years of study, not one tutor ever demonstrated the passion you have shown me in the last two days. You have more conviction in one memory than I have in my entire being.

Right now I feel as though I am capable of the passion that Danielle has in that one memory, but in actuality I am now more like Prince Henry. Meandering day by day, doing that which I enjoy and that which is required of me, but never really _challenged_ at a deeper level. Never really _inspired_ by something greater than my stomach or bed time.

And quite honestly, I think it’s simply an issue of time.

For me, time to reflect and read and write and sing is the equivalent of Prince Henry meeting Danielle and seeing the passion within her and wanting to have it for himself… and then to do something with it.

Only with some free time in the last couple of nights when I got do some reading by myself have I been able to even think about the realization of where I am at currently. I want to do deep things. I have a desire to do this gigantic word study from some piece of Scripture that just opens the Thing up to me and my wife and others and it radically changes us and them and oh my word look at how amazing life is and can be and… Yeah, I want that.

And that brings me to something I read last night:

bq. “Yes, but what does this have to do with what we were talking about? What I was saying is that it doesn’t feel like God is taking me anywhere.”

“Exactly,” Paul emphasizes. “That is because you are looking for God to use you or present Himself to you or some other ‘sign’ of faith. But I think that God does not so much take us from point A to point B in the physical world as He takes us from not knowing Him to knowing Him. Do you remember what Mike prayed for us before we left Visalia? He prayed that we would come to know God and see Him in everything…

Well, a lot of times we are looking for a sign that tells us we’re godly. We want to preach, or be a missionary or whatever, all to help ourselves believe that God is using us. We look everywhere but to God to make us feel godly. We try to convince others we are godly so that we can convince ourselves we are godly. The bottom line is that godliness is about relationship, not about image. I guess what I am saying… is that we shouldn’t worry about where God is taking us or what God is doing through us. Instead, we should be asking ourselves ‘Who is God?’ Do you know what I mean?”

“So, you mean that when I was looking for a feeling, or asking what it feels like to follow God, I was asking the wrong question.”

“Exactly! Instead of asking what it feels like to follow God or be used by God, we should be asking who God is and whether we really know Him. Everything else will take care of itself.”

“Maybe,” I respond.

I feel very much like the I in the book. (First like a prince, then a random ‘I’, I’m moving up in the world). Wanting that _feeling_ of closeness to God. But realizing I’m probably asking the wrong question. And the funny thing is, I wouldn’t say I’m a “valley” (here comes the stereo-typical Christianese analogy). I don’t pray as much as I would like, don’t read as much as I like, but I do have moments some moments of relationship with God (not sure how else to word it), enough to sustain me and remind me I’m not completely awry. I don’t know, just kinda going along, ya know? Just doing the work/family/husband thing. And that’s about it.

In reflection, my wife is right (there’s a shocker). I suck at living a calm life. I’m constantly looking for the next thing, the next class to take, the next project to get buried in, the next ministry to jump on board with. I suck at just being. Even though that’s the very thing I extol whenever I talk about the Irish (went on a mission trip to Ireland a couple years back and loved the experience and the people).

_Dear God,
Teach me how to rest with my wife and daughter. Teach me how to be faithful in the little things now so that when big things come, I don’t jack them up. Teach me about You. Thank you that You are so big and strong that I can afford the opportunity to rest.

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