Saturday, August 4, 2012
To live a life unscripted requires risk. We can live our lives knowing exactly the outcome because we fail to assume risk. In the journey of life, it is intended to be a time that all is risked and decisions are made -- what are we waiting for? In God's mercy and sovereignty, if we are fortunate, hopefully our decisions are based in our following no other than Him. What must be understood is living a life with assumed risk will cause things to not go as planned or perhaps as we wanted or expected but there it is: life, a life unscripted.
To live otherwise is to cheat oneself.
The name for such states of being is not chaos, it is not trial and it is not error, it is adventure: friends, it is truly living. Because to risk something is to put ourselves in the hands of the Almighty and to allow ourselves to be swept along His great river of life and into where His destiny is for us. The absence of risk is the absence of faith and trust. It is settling into the mundane and being drugged by the narcotic of safety and security and in the process we build no longer castles of grandeur but something dark and cold: we build prisons for our own souls. What is it that we want from our lives? We have a choice to make: To allow ou lives to be metered by the rules of this worlds or to step out into the cold yet clear and exhilarating future of the unexpected, the unscripted. It is where men and women of faith have always gone and it is in their company I long to be.
I am reminded of the story of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus and asked what must he do to inherit eternal life. Jesus' response to him was not to give out of his possessions but to give them all -- and yet here is the reward 'and come follow Me...' It is something I ponder, it is something I roll over in my mind. I ask myself who I am like. The perfumed young boy who thinks he has it all and eternal life too or the grungy fisherman whose hands cannot rid themselves of the piscatorial smell who came through the dark nights of self condemnation to stand on the summit of freedom. Peter found the life unscripted, unwritten standing open and free and whose sails we let out to be driven by a divine wind. I an 54 years old and I feel my journey, my life unscripted is just beginning. I stand on the brink of change, I stand on the rim of the unknown and I have never felt more alive than I do now. To take a step not knowing the footing that I will encounter. The Savior bids me go and it is as if the ones on the road to Damascus or Perea or Rome slow for but a moment turn their heads and with a look that says to me 'well are you coming or not?..no we don't know where we are going either, what we will encounter or what awaits us...all we know is we must go because God bids us...we are driven...we are welded to His call and will and wherever He wills we will go..."
The Mind-Killer: Fear
I have said it before in previous entries but I think it bears repeating: You need to take control over your own life. Not in the sense that the Lordship of Christ is ever challenged or compromised but just the opposite. In dysfunctional religious groups the main tool to immobilize is not anything other than fear:
1> fear that if one makes decisions independently, then it is never from the Lord.
2> fear of the unknown if decisions are made to do something else than to stay in the group.
3> Let's face it, fear of hell and damnation because someone has said that leaving the group is leaving Jesus.
4> fear that relationships with family members may be strained by our decisions.
5> fear that one is not making the right decision.
6> fear of change itself.
Yet in the final analysis, if there is a presence of fear (not reverence, there is a difference), chances are it is not from the Lord anyway. How can I be so confident of this? Because of the Apostle John the Beloved who stated ' Perfect love casts out all fear.' Isn't interesting that epistle of 1 John was written to those who had been battling those who said that their 'gospel' was the only way and that their teaching was superior to what they had learned from the Apostle? No, there is a precedent in this epistle that is very important. John told them :
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 1 John 2:27.
This is not a repudiation of all leadership but only those who seek to dominate and subject. In my opinion, what John is providing is an order of precedence: one should always look to God first before any earthly authority. This is the root teaching.
Once fear is conquered, the monsters we hear scurrying through the dark corners of our minds are silenced and that which the cankerworm has eaten away, will begin to blossom once again -- it is in the nature of what was planted. You did not plant faith within yourself, God did. The calling you received from God has not changed, it has just lain dormant for the first vapor of God's Spirit to make contact. It is time dear friends, time for you to move, to face life unscripted and to throw out all others who have brought you a life you did not ask for or even plan. Life in the Spirit is living in the overlap of the Kingdom of God that Jesus bursted upon this realm over two thousand years ago and is still increasing. God has broken into space and time that we do not have to live under its power. We are not governed to think or to do according to this world nor any power that reflects the oppression of it. We have crossed over, do not let fear suck you back down into oppression -- and if you do, you have no one to blame but yourself: Christ has come to set us free to not think and live as ordinary people but to live and function in an extra-ordinary life fraught with the greatest of heights and the most darkest places from where we sing the hymns of God...and watch prison doors open with the brush of an angel's wings.
The Road Ahead
It takes, as Brennan Manning has said, ruthless trust in the Savior. It is moving when there is no indication of success but the urging of the Spirit of God - let Him pour over you. It is daring to take a different path than the one you are on because it is all you have ever known and tragically if you don't change, it will be all you will ever know and experience. If it is true that Christ came that we might have life and life more abundantly, it is not to be found in security but being lashed to the mast of a storm-struck boat in the rage of a hurricane heading into the unknown when we know God has called us to do so. Let me ask you a question. What is it you will remember in this life? I have found it to be points where I shoved off into the unknown with nothing but the vision God gave me personally. Something He gave that cannot be taken away nor tarnished. To be honest, it has lain fallow and strewn in a field of confusion but no more, God has made me to find it once again. It is right where I dropped it. I have found it, I have picked it up. It is a map of my future but the rain of God's grace has washed off all markings. The light of God's truth has faded it...there is no writing there are no markings. The latitude and longitude are no longer there, the map is now just an empty parchment....a life unscripted.