Monday, July 21, 2008

My Own Shack

Sunday morning I woke to a knock at the door of my shabby chic, rustic, barnwood, old stress shack. With the major burden of the year off my back, I feel like my 2008 can now begin. I so regret embracing the stress with such open arms and allowing it to encompass so much of my mind and energy. Missing out on the full joy of this half year is definately my own punishment (not that it has been all bad, but even positive change can be stressful). And now that it is lifting, it is so much like making up with a close friend after a long fight. The weight of the world is gone, and now my maker and closest companion and I can get on with practing being in each other's presence.
It was fitting that the morning after the anticipated reunion was over, I finished the very popular book 'The Shack' by William Paul Young. It was, by the way, probably the best book I have ever read. It was so true to the heart of a Savior I could serve. I hate how I forget how good He is sometimes and start comparing him to the same God Mackenzie had known (concerned with performance more than relationship, and cruel enough to let such horrible things happen in the world). I blame the bible, and,of course, the way it has been molested over the years. I have struggled with whether I should go public with my true feelings regarding the world's most acclaimed book. A book that I do believe was inspired by the holy spirit herself. But there it is. I don't like it, atleast most of it. How could I love the Maker so much and still virtually hate his manuscript/love letter to humanity? The answer is not simple and it is not a judgement I am proud of (not that I am ever proud of myself when I pass judgement). I think it has something to do with the fact that I have never read it or interacted with it at all the way God intended me to. It has been a book of rules, secrets, principals, confusion, misunderstanding, injustice, anger, hurt, and yes, love, but not one that I could begin to understand. Mostly, it has been a way that I judge and dislike myself based on how much of it I have memorized and can quote, so that I may impress someone or recall it should an occasion arise. I feel certain, this is not the purpose God intended for it. But, unfortunately, there it sits looking at me, begging me to pick it up, read it, and interact with it, struggle with it, disagree with it, and learn a little about myself in the process. Or don't, there's no hurry, Abba is not going anywhere, and He can speak with me in a number of ways just as he does people who can't read at all. There again, He is not looking for me to perform for him. He is wanting me to be who He created me to be and interact with him as genuinely as I can. Wow! What freedom is found in that. So, thank you Mr. Young for beautifully painting that lesson again for me as a reminder! I applaud your journey and the strength it took to pen and publish it for your children (and let America get a peak as well). But more than the work itself, the ability of everyone to put all those words together in amazing literary form, the success it has had, etc etc, I am just so thankful to Her anytime I come across a follower of Jesus who has the surrendered soul enough to be authentic about life and the difficulty of it all. It is so so so rare! There are too many Christians who want to paint themselves perfect and belittle the rest of us by sharing how much they tithe or giving out soggy unapplicable advice to make themselves look so wise. But so few who just enter into relationships.
Attempting, there again, not to judge, I will say that I find myself way way too often being one of those people as well. After all, I like my shack. The dust, cobwebs, and stale air are all too familiar and comfortable sometimes. It's easy to be alone. Stress can be a welcome friend. After all, it is a good excuse to binge eat chocolate. However, She always rewards me when I step off the porch and into the garden of life. Maybe all this has been to say that, even with God, it is sometimes nice to fight just so that you can make up. For this time I know that stepping out into the sun is definately nice.

1 comment:

Blake said...

"...and when you get through with all the forevers, you oughta be able to say Amen!!!"