Originally published Monday, 18 January 2016.
Frustrated, I pumped harder, as if each New Year push on the elliptical would propel me into progress, as if it would really get me somewhere. The only thing it seemed to propel me into, however, was pressure. Pressure from words like: Must. Move. Forward. Must. Make. Difference. Must. Do. Well.
Sure, I wanted to do things for God,
but somehow I lost God in the process.
It seemed God took off in the dense woods in the window before me. I pumped harder and faster, but man-made machines and ambitious routines, never have effectively lassoed God's heart. I stayed lost.
Where did you go, God?
I didn't know.
Sometimes it appears God leaves those who miss his perfectly placed bread crumbs - those who start looking left and right, only to unknowingly trample on his love lying on the center of the path. Those who get diverted by moving wind, shadows, scary branches, prickly vines and oncoming clouds.
It appears the more lost we get, the more lost we become.
What do you do when your steps have landed you into the density of
vanity, superficiality and absurdity,
therefore making drivability back to your great God nearly impossible?
This is what I considered as I huffed and puffed.
God, I need you.
God, please help me.
Lord, there is none like you.
I have brought myself far, by looking at far off things,
far off people
and far of progress that you did not yet claim for me.
Reset my eyes, my mind, my being.
Like a magnet that cannot be deterred from you.
Like a body double that lives inside you.
Like a duplicate of your being.
Like a child on a parental leash.
Clone my desires to be of your genetic makeup.
For I know you use those who serve low, that reach deep and lay down to lift another higher.
I know that you delight in the adult who picks the unconnected, unwanted and unmerited kid's table - and then serves them.
I know it is not progress you care about but the process of sitting at your feet,
where we hold your feet like jewels,
and then cleanse them with unrestrained
I-will-do-anything-for-you, I-have-no-place-to-be - adoration.
For then, we go out in the world and clean the wretched filth off those we detest and despise -
except for one thing, we start not to detest and despise them so much anymore,
for it is in pure that pure is forged.
Lord, it is your purity we are after.
White as snow.
Innocent as a dove.
Undefiled as a baby's first breath.
Unrestrained by the contamination of the world.
Moving as holy.
Being in you.
Not "outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside [being] full of hypocrisy and lawlessness" (Matthew 23:27), no God, not like that. Instead, may I be outwardly appearing available, lowly and humble AND inside full of giving, loving, gentleness, kindness, patience, authenticity, defenselessness and purity.
My pumping continued on the elliptical, but in that moment, I let my shoulders soften. I let my arms rest a little, for each movement was starting to feel owned, controlled and in place by one above my own motions.
And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 Jo. 3:3
When we fix our eyes on the purity of Jesus,
purity gets fixed within ourself.
My eyes gazed ahead, into the unknown density of forest, but now, just a little more, knew where I was driving towards - purity. This meant, I would keep watch for the breadcrumbs, follow his trail and get low so he could be high.
And then the amazing happened!
As fast as a flash of lightening, God seemed to flash purity, as if to show I was on the right path. Even though my eyes couldn't believe it, even though I was surrounded by a hundred moving pieces of steel gym equipment, even though the forest ahead looked dark and daunting, still...a dog, burst onto the scene. White. Snow White. Pure. Free. Playful. Beckoning. Moving. Inviting. Gesturing. Delighting. Knowing his way. Sure of his being. Calling me to follow.
I nodded inside and said, "Lord, more than anything, I want to follow." And I decided, to push into him.
Prayer for Purity:
Lord, make me pure. Make my insides so sincere that even the smallest fragment of defect cannot exist. Make me so clean that even the smallest particle of dirt would be out of place. Make me so brilliant that only you have a home in the temple of sacred. Make my heart go after not things of high, but places of low. May I drive hard after the uncared for people and places, rather than the lofty spaces and places. May I see the one who feels unseen. May I love the one who the world does not love. May I pursue the heart that is rendered yours. May I be the girl who you know will answer. May I strike a chord in the center of love. May I find a way when all ways seem lost. May I give a hand to the person in need. May I give myself when I have nothing left. And may I find you when I find myself in distress. May you search me out as one belonging to you. May you lend me your kingdom, knowing I'll do good by you. May I keep it well. May I see your life. And, always, everyday, may I be content - in you, the owner of eternal life. Amen.
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