Monday, October 7, 2013

Every New Thing

What do you do when everything changes?

If you're like me, and I think like most of us, wholesale change is overwhelming. I'm talking about those rare moments when even your inner dialogue changes and you feel like a stranger in your own mind because everything is that new and that exciting and that...intimidating. (Which I only say because I already said overwhelming.) It's like for one reason or another, life snaps. And I guess today when I say that, I'm thinking of the times when life snaps into place.

It's the kind of thing we dream about, at least I do. It's the kind of moment I've had only in my head for far too long, and I have to admit that I always envision myself handling it better than I do when the actual time comes. I imagine diving in, swimming in the deep, giving myself wholly over to a new creation, relieved of the burden of the old one. But then that moment hits, and I hardly recognize myself, let alone know what to do, let alone know how to live.

So here's what we do - we find the one thing. We find the one thing we can hold onto and drag with us into the newness, one thing we can have that reminds us who we are. We do this even when we've dreamt of not being that any more, even when it is contrary to the very answered prayer that's open before us. Then we're torn between all we've ever wanted and all we've ever been because we can't seem to just let go.

I could not articulate for you the things I hold onto. I'm not sure I quite know myself. I could not articulate why they seem so important. I'm not sure I know. I can't even really describe the tension, but if you've been in this kind of a moment, you understand exactly what I'm talking about.

But what I want to tell you is: I think I've got it. Maybe.

We dream wrong.

When I dream about the life God is calling me to, I am filled with the Spirit. But I am most aware of what it might feel like to be me when that day comes. I feel what it might be like to be running toward that dream, to be swimming in that deep, to be smothered in that love, to be powered by that purpose. My entire reflection of the experience is what that must be like. Then when I get there, I'm disappointed.

Because by the time I ever get there, I'm not who I was. By definition, I can't be. And if I don't know me, I can't recognize the dream, which leaves me feeling lost and overwhelmed and desperate for something familiar to cling to. Which I inevitably find in who I once was and therein lies the tension between where I was and where I'm called to be. It throws everything out of whack because suddenly, my life spins on the one thing I've found to hold onto.

What if that one thing was Jesus?

What if when we dream, we dream about what God is going to be like on that day? What if we dream about what it must be like to be in His will, to be all of the things we already think we feel - swimming in the deep, smothered in love, powered by purpose - but we drew those feelings from what He was doing instead of what we were doing? And what if we could make Him so central to our being that He becomes the thing we cling to from who we were to who we are called to be? What if we made our lives spin on Jesus?

What if I made my life spin on Jesus?

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