I'm reading Blue Like Jazz.
Its an earthy book, a memoirs on the Christian life. I love it. It's not uber-theological although there is deep theology in it. Those of you who have read it know what I mean. If you haven't, it's a really refreshing read.
Like any good book, it has made me think while I'm not actually reading it. Like tasting a peppermint long after its dissolved in your mouth. It's made me think, rather caused me to think about the reality of the Christian life. And its a pretty messy deal. But messy doesn't mean bad. I hope I'm not being too honest here, but life, my own Christian life, does not play like a movie. Well, I guess that depends on the movie. Some days feel a lot like the first 25 minutes of Saving Private Ryan. Brutal and unrelenting. Others though are more like Sleepless in Seattle where everything turns out just fine. And then there are days like 12 Monkeys where I have no idea whats going on but it's fun anyway. I reckon most days are a little of each.
That's kind of my point. Each day has what it has. I can't fix tomorrow. When Jesus says that today has enough trouble of its own, He wasn't speaking in a parable. But the reality of the Christian life is that each day brings a whole new series of experiences, challenges and decisions - all of which come down to this one question: "Do you love Me?"
I trust the Lord because I love Him, not the other way around. That would be ridiculous. Trusting is risky. But not with the Lord. Trusting Him is surety. It's a guarantee of His presence, His help. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding", the Proverbs say. "In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight."
That's a pretty good promise. But here's the kicker:
The straight path does not equal easy.
And that's where I get in the most trouble. You see, I'm selfish. I really am. I can serve people, but I like serving me better. I think about me most of the time. And it's frustrating. Because I want things easy. But easy is overrated. It's a farce, a shell game. We strive endlessly to make life easy instead of striving to love the Lord when only one of those things is important. Life would be easy I think if there were no sin. But that's not reality. Not yet. One day, one day Oh come Lord Jesus, there will be no sin. But today. Today there is and responding to God's love by loving Him in return and then trusting Him - that makes days OK.
We travel a lot. In Deacon's first 13 months we lived for more than a month in 7 different places. That's a lot of moving. A lot of being unable to put down roots; like treading water and only every couple of minutes being able to tippy-toe touch the bottom. It's exhausting. But Jenny and I were talking the other day and she said, "Think how much Jesus moved around." I mean, He walked everywhere. He had no place to lay His head, no 'home', no address. No permanence in location. Except one. He was constantly in communion with the Father. Not communication, communion - intimate rapport. And that made all the difference. That was His home: Communion with the Father. Something that is always the same, never changing yet experienced afresh each time. Because God made me for it I feel at home there.
Tomorrow we drive back to Xela (Shay-luh); back home. But really, that's a facade too. Because I'm a alien, and extranjero, a foreigner. I'm a white guy in Guatemala and I forever stick out. But there is a place where my Savior sits on a throne at the right hand of the Father. Where death has no sting and sin no foothold. Where I'm never late or forgetful; where I'll finally be home. Where I won't have to have faith anymore - where only love remains.
The thought of that makes for a pretty good day - even here.