i thank God that he sent me here to the Pickyernose mountains to work on this ramshackle shack.
We will pause a moment to allow the saps time to say, "Whut?" and then we'll pause for a moment longer so they may say, "Did he just say what I thought he said??" Everyone caught up? We will continue.
Yes, i said it. i even wrote it. Cuz it's true. i have been brought to the place where i can finally say, this has been a good thing. How can this be? How did this happen? The answer to that cannot be told with anything less than a six pack of Guinness, a campfire and an entire evening but i shall endeavor to sum it up like this...
Renovation. Whilst i was isolated and alone, trying and mostly failing to make something beautiful and new of this poor, dilapidated, neglected, excuse of a house here in the Pennslobovian Northeast, God has been quietly making something beautiful and new of my poor, dilapidated, neglected, excuse of a life. He lifted me up and set me level again where i had gone askew. He has been peeling back the siding and exposing the rot and rodents. He has been pulling out the broken, useless plumbing and fitting me with a working faith that taps into the Living Water and quickly confesses out the crap. He has replaced the dingy paneling with His white righteousness so that i look around my soul now and see Him reflecting off of every surface in the glorious light of His new fixtures.
What can i give you dear reader other than a pick-up truck load of colorful metaphors, amorous analogies and starry eyed similes? The Truth. The main thing that changed, the central focus of all this renovation has been direct, constant and total immersion in His Word. In my case, having no form of entertainment or distraction outside of an ipod and a laptop, i have filled my life with sermons and from them, i have been broken, exposed, healed and learned to start praying more, read the Word more and even to keep a journal. i've come from attacking the Word to get answers to my life and my questions, from study for selfish purposes and to learn about me and my plight, to a place where i study to learn about Him! To my surprise, the more i learn, the more i want to learn! The slaking of my thirst for God has only produced more thirst! i now know the temptation of the monastery. To set oneself apart from the world and live only to study and meditate on the Truth and beauty of the Gospel is an intoxicating drug. But to do that would be to totally betray and ignore everything i'm learning. This joy was meant to be shared. Just as the Old Testament was symbol and story to point to Jesus, the church, Christ's body is here on earth now to be symbol and story pointing not only back to Him and what He's done but ahead to what He's going to do!
And that's where the trial now lays. The roles of refuge and furnace have reversed. Where once i came here in spite and with one foot aimed towards home, i now turn towards my home and my joy is tempered with fear. Fear that i won't measure up, that i'll fall back into my old patterns, that i'll be tempted to give up, that it will be too hard to bring this simple faith to a world so entrenched in rebellion that it calls the Creator a pretender. How will i keep this fragile candle lit in a world that loves darkness?
Turns out you can find the answer to that question in the Word too.