Friday, 15 August 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

Suddenly this simple, lyrical phrase has taken on a new weight and meaning in my life; never before have I desired the gritty taste and texture of sand in my mouth, but after last night the pursuit of such an experience has consumed my plan-making mind. What is the fastest and most enduring way that I can accomplish this goal? How can I ‘bite the dust’ so intensely that one might be able to grow flowers in the earth between my lips?

A word of explanation. Every Thursday night here at MBC the staff gather for a worship session and short time of study or reflection. Recently, we have been watching the Nooma video series to spark our small group conversations. Each video deals with something different – a story, a passage, some insight into the bible or into our faith, an element of life – and usually I can apply one or two things from the clip to my own life and walk with God. Last night was different.

My entire week – my entire summer – has been a very emotional rollercoaster. Last night I went through a condensed recap of every emotion I have experience over the past few months in the span of about an hour. In the ten minutes while watching this video, my mind and my mood went from quietly and contentedly pensive to unexplained and slightly aggressive frustration to complete submission. How did I get here? Then I started really listening to what Nooma Man was talking about. I began to understand what he meant about the dirt... and I realized something profound... I’m too clean.

In the video, Nooma Man was talking about the disciples of biblical times; not just of the twelve, but of any follower of any rabbi at that point in history. Here’s the breakdown of his lesson: if you wanted to follow someone as a disciple, you didn’t just trail along with the crowd from place to place; instead, your goal, your main objective in life, your driving force and core motivation was to be like your teacher. You became a mimic, a copycat and as close a reflection of the real deal as possible; you followed them around, yes, but you followed them paying acute attention to detail. You leached on to the rabbi and attempted to duplicate everything he did, both spiritually and physically... and the physical following got you dirty.

“May you be covered in the dust of your rabbi...” May the mud that is flung off the sandals before you cake onto your skin and get in your teeth. If you were covered in dust because you were following that closely to your leader, it was a compliment to look dirty.

I want to be following that closely.

Perhaps this makes little sense to anyone outside of my mind. I don’t even follow my own thoughts some days... Here’s the gist. I am following after Christ, but I’m falling behind a little. I’m within earshot but some days I let myself dawdle and I begin to rely on the relay of God’s messages through other people instead of kicking myself into gear and learning first hand. I have some catching up to do. I need to get closer, walk faster, get into a shadowing position. I have to act like I want to learn if I really do want to learn. I have to find a way to grow up and push forward and bite the dust.

Thursday, 7 August 2008


Breathe in...
I fill my lungs with the Breath of Life.
I drain myself of everything mine.
Who am I, what am I?
Questions I pose but cannot answer.
Questions for another mind.
For another person.
For a supernatural source of infinite knowledge;
The sometimes revealer of mystery,
The exclusive creator of all things known
And of things unknown
And things unknowable.
My God.
The answer to the chaos, the anchor in the storm,
The only one that I can trust.
The only one that I can truly trust
Never to change,
Never to falter,
Never to fail,
Never to ignore,
Never to leave,
Never to run,
Never to misjudge,
Never to betray,
Never to die.
Breathe in, slowly...
I feel the life begin to spread into the cold parts of myself,
Into the cold parts of my heart.
Exhale, slowly, so slowly...
Peace washes over my body in a physical wave.
I can feel His love.
A quiet smile covers my face.
Jesus brings out a softness of spirit in me;
A gentleness that is stiffened and chipped by modern civilization.
Our world has a way of leaving scratches and bruises on the soul
But He is the restoration and the fixation of my heart.
Breathe in... be renewed by the Spirit.
Exhale... surrender to a joy and a peace that cannot be swayed by storm.
Let go of your doubts and fears in exchange for the answer;
In exchange for the anchor.
Let go of yourself
And breathe in.