wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything here. I think it probably has something to do with the suddenly frantic pace my life has been taking. So much has been happening that I’m not even sure where to begin and where to put the words that make the most sense…and if what i’m thinking and feeling can ever really be portrayed by something as simple and archaic as language. Words are amazing. Words are my life. And yet, right here, right now, I’m suddenly finding myself unable to find the perfect phrases to tell you, dear reader, what I feel. There is a Leonard Sweet quote, though lengthy, that has haunted my waking thoughts these past few days. Here it is:
“I am part of the Church of the Out-Of-Control; I’ve give up my control to God. I’ve jumped off the fence; I’ve stepped over the line. I’ve pulled out all the stops; I’m holding nothing back. There’s no turning back, looking around, slowing down, backing away, or shutting up. It’s a life against the odds, outside the box, over the wall, “Thy Will Be done…” I’m done playing by the rules, whether it’s Roberts Rules of Order or Miss Manner’s Rules of Etiquette or Martha Stewart’s Rules of Living or Merrill Lynch’s Money Minding/Botton-lining/Ladder climbing Rules of America’s Most Wanted.
“I am not here to please the dominant culture. I live to please my Lord and Savior. My spiritual taste buds have graduated from fizz and froth to Fire and Ice. Don’t give me that old-time religion. Don’t give me that new-time religion. Give me that all-time religion that is as hard as rock and as soft as snow.
“I’ve stopped trying to make life work, and started trying to make life sing. I’m finished with secondhand sensations; third-rate dreams; I can’t be bought by any personalities or perks, positions or prizes.
“I won’t give up, though I will give in…to openness of mind, humbleness of heart, and generosity of spirit. When shorthanded and hard-pressed, I will never again simply hang in there.
“I will stand in there; I will run in there; I will pray in there; I will sacrifice in there; I will endure in there-I will do everything in there but hang. I am organized religion’s best friend and worst nightmare.
“I won’t back down slow down, shut down, or let down until I’m preached out, teached out, healed out, hauled out of God’s mission in the world entrusted to member of the out-of-control. To unbind the confined, whether they’re downtrodden or the upscale the overlooked or the under-represented.
“My fundamental identity is a disciple of Jesus. And I won’t walk through history simply “in His steps” but will seek to travel more deeply in God’s Spirit.
“Until God comes again or calls me home, you can find me filling…not killing time so that one day God will pick me out in the line-up of the ages as one of God’s own. And then…it will be worth it all….to hear these words, the most precious words I can ever hear; “well done, thou good and faithful…Out-of-control disciple.”
~Excerpted from Leonard Sweet, A Cup of Coffee at the Soul Café. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1998). Pp 168-170.~
Isn’t that amazing? It’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do, and the results have already started pouring in. I am happy and have suddenly found myself in a relationship I was beginning to doubt would ever appear. I feel God, I am blessed, I am loved, I am cherished. I am real and I am His. And, for the first time ever, I’m learning that that is enough…