In elementary school, I went to one of those private schools in Texas that taught Abeka Curriculum and had uniforms. 2 things I gained from that experience:
1. I could rock a khaki knee-length skirt with a white oxford tucked in.
2. I knew what a prepositional phrase was in the 3rd grade (if you are still unsure what a prepositional phrase is . . . this should help)
I loved English class.
I know I have now submitted myself to much harsher scrutiny of my writing from all of the grammar nazis out there by sharing my love of this subject. I am resigned to my fate.
I also love to read. Picture the kid who would walk with a book in line and run into stuff – that was me, but with puffy bangs. Now, I still run into stuff with no book as an excuse.
I’m an addictive reader. When I start a book, Richard has been known to say to the family, “We will see mom in a couple days when she’s done with her book.”
We all have our things, right?
For me, reading is the only way I can turn my brain OFF. No matter what I’m doing, my mind is working a hundred miles an hour. When I read, I am filling my imagination with an entire world apart from mine, and I love it.
Reading the Bible is different for me.
It’s impactful and life-changing, but doesn’t turn my brain off the way other reading does. Sometimes it is hard work to engage. Other times, it is all I can do to read past just one verse that changes everything . . .
I think it’s because it’s not another world to get sucked up into, it’s my world. It’s the story of my home and heart and the plan to create, sustain and redeem it.
When I read the Bible, my mind is acutely aware of something different happening in the pages.
I have a friend who sarcastically laments, “If only we had a better story . . .”
If only the Gospel told a story worth telling the world – worth giving our lives for.
If only we had a God that took the time to inspire words on a page to teach a new way of living and loving.
If only the story we told with our lives was one of REDEMPTION, PEACE, HEALING and a TRUSTWORTHY SAVIOR.
The Gospel is a better story than anything I could pen. It has been called the Greatest Story Ever Told. Could I argue it’s the Greatest Story Ever Lived?
When I talk about Jesus, I say he livED a sinless life. He diED an undeserved criminal’s death. He raisED from the dead, conquering the power of death.
Those are all PAST TENSE verbs. They are actions that have already taken place.
I’d venture that you and I sometimes have a hard time connecting with this Creator Redeemer God because of that. He seems deeply imbedded in history and sometimes difficult to connect in our present. We all have a reason why we believe that’s true.
Because our circumstance and our brokenness do not seem to compare to his suffering, so he would not attend us?
Because our life experience is so vastly different from 1st Century Palestine?
Because my fear of being rejected and abandoned has been realized one too many times?
I get it.
And, I think Scripture offers an understanding ehich greatly changes our response to God, or at least it could . . .
There is a verse in the Bible (many actually, but this is one that I especially love) that gives us great hope and present promise:
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
God is PRESENTLY STANDING, actively waiting, to be welcomed into this time in our lives that varies so greatly from what we see on the pages of scripture – but aligns so profoundly with the WHOLE STORY of redeeming the world.
He is standing. He is here. Now.
My God is patient for me to hear His Voice calling through the walls I have built around my heart.
I have built a home to protect my life and my family. Somehow in all that good, hard work, I have often allowed my Savior to be left standing on the doorstep waiting for an invitation to come share a meal as friends.
Food is relevant. A meal with Jesus. A time where we share our successes and failures – and our dreams for tomorrow.
I believe in a God that is PRESENT and REAL. I believe in a trustworthy Savior that, if invited in, can change the story of our world forever.