Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Edge of the Volcano


by Kim Engle

I'm just getting warmed up. I've had a few ah ha moments the past few weeks, and well, it has become ABUNDANTLY clear that I have work to do. What I've also figured out is that is has liitle to do with me personally (emotionally, whatever) but me as part of the body. I got such a rush seeing some fellow Levites today at church and hearing a sermon preached specifically for me. Sorry Walter, I made it to the morning, Pats r playin and husband cares.
5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."
Isaiah 6:5-6

In the words of my husband, I have a tendency to "dance on the edge of a volcano" that my friends, is what I've done, as always perhaps gotten myself in way over my head.

You see, I didn't pick a couple laws, concepts group of laws chapters what have you, to live out this month, I sucked it all in (or at least as much as this feeble brain could muster) and set myself up for a rocking good failure.

I went so far as to cover my head and wear only loose fitting overalls to "set myself apart" This went well for the first couple of weeks until I realized the toll it was taking on me physically, mentally, I began to loathe the way I looked because being clean is not enough, and by "not thinking about what to wear" actually made me think more about myself than I had planned. Thinking of myself first? In Simons words-Unholy

On the plus side, this did in fact set me apart in the work place and give me the opportunity to witness to people at my job (always a perk) but on the down side for me personally as my oufits began to drift back into my norm, and co workers would ask "I thought you were doing this Leviticus thing for the whole month?" at which point I would do one of 3 things:
1.Grumble and walk away-Unholy
2. Explain that I suck, I'm still doing it, and I keep trying.-Unholy, defeated
3. I suck but only by the grace through the blood of Jesus am I able to still stand here before you and tell you that I suck. -Unholy, forgiven

I have to share here that this "experiment" (we'll talk later on whether or not that is a misnomer) is a 4th step from a popular 12 step healing program.

Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Great. I guess I was due. At the rate I'm going perhaps by summer I can move on from this "experiment" and move on to step 5
Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Hey wait... this is facebook, does this count as a human being???

I'll continue to tell you of my wrongs, (and my rights) because thankfully my guilt has been atoned for and perhaps summer can bring...
Step 6 Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step 7 Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

At least now I know why God called me to do this.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

by Kristen Filipic

I'm struck by your three possible responses, as those are questions I've been thinking about too.

I agree that "Grumble and walk away" is unholy.

But I'm intrigued that you consider "Explain that I suck, I'm still doing it, and I keep trying" to be "defeated."

I guess my thought is that "It ain't over 'till the fat lady sings" and as long as you can say "I'm still doing it and I keep trying" the fat lady's lips are zipped. And you are not defeated -- you are persevering!

"Ummm, Kristen" one might say. "There's this really obscure Christian doctrine that you might not have come across yet. It's called grace. We don't continually keep striving for God's favor. We are forgiven and enjoy that favor just because God's like that."

Good point. Excellent point. But along the lines of "God accepts us just the way we are and loves us far too much to let us stay that way" part of what grace does is enables us to pick ourselves up and try again.