Monday, January 07, 2008
A Levite Goes to Gotham
by Brian Bassett
Circumstance, chance meetings and my own laziness have all conspired against me. Or maybe more appropriately, I have allowed them to do so.
Over a month ago when I was getting jazzed about the idea of what this experiment would look like for me personally, I didn't see the things coming that would give me any reason to compromise on some of that original vision.
Without boring you with all the details, I'll just give you one example. Over three years ago, I started a blog about the New York Jets ... the Jets are my all-time favorite football team and I have poured my life and (when I get too caught up) soul into this project for over three years. Since things are still under wraps, I can't get into all the details, but sufficed to say that a certain media outlet contacted me about partnering/purchasing my site, and wanted to meet with me on Saturday, Jan 5th out of town.
So not only would I just be breaking sabbath by traveling, shaving so I didn't look like a total slob (first impressions!!), working and doing countless other things you're not supposed to on that most holy of days, but I was meeting my contacts at a barbeque-style restaurant in the one city on the planet that is sometimes referred to as the New Babel ... how utterly fantastic.
I have to say that I lost a lot my orientation this past week. Just like coming out of a New York subway in an unfamiliar location, sure the streets might be easy to navigate, but if you lose your sense of direction, then it doesn't really matter. So in the wake of this meeting I was discouraged about my living of Levitucs ... discouraged with my lack of dedication, discouraged with my progress and mostly discouraged with my communication to you fellow Levites, along with the many folks around the globe checking in on our progress.
Sure, I had been reading Leviticus, avoiding pig-related products (is bison OK?) of any kind ... but where was my heart? Was I just doing this because I had said that I would? Why bother if my heart wasn't in it?
This morning, I sat down and read Chapter 7 again. After Daniel's sermon last night, maybe things are beginning to click ...
"Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'He who offers the sacrifice of his peace offerings to the LORD shall bring his offering to the LORD from the sacrifice of his peace offerings. 'His own hands are to bring offerings by fire to the LORD. He shall bring the fat with the breast, that the breast may be presented as a wave offering before the LORD.
How powerful and moving. By my 'own hands' am I to bring my peace offering before the Lord. Sure there are steps that I need to take to bring me back in alignment with God, and it's just as important to honor those as it is to honor the process of the peace offering, but still I can come and offer peace to the Lord, which he will honor. That this is something for all God's people, which we are encouraged to do regularly and often, is to me a great comfort.
With this now in mind, I think it's helped me to find a better balance between obedience & desire, something that I hope to strive for not just for the rest of the month of January, but for the rest of my life.