Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 22: And We're Back!

Hello! I am so sorry to have disappeared over the weekend...I was back in Cambridge for a good friend's wedding and I thought I'd be able to post from my phone. But it was not to be. The ironic thing was that the post I had in mind was about skipping a day on our fast. Here's why:

Saturday marked the halfway point of our 40 Day spiritual adventure, and I know for myself--especially in seasons where fasting is going well--I can get caught up in my own "power" and lose sight of God. I lose focus on the actual spiritual transaction here, the mystery of it all, and grow oddly convinced that it's my willpower forcing God's hand. In those moments, I actually believe that if I keep doing/not doing X, then God HAS to give me what I'm praying for. That's not how it works. In our fasting and prayers, we're partnering with God, not making Him do something. It's kind of important to keep that straight. So I'd planned to suggest that on Saturday, we purposely blow it, just to break any sense we might have that our perfection is the key to the connection we seek from God.

One might say I lead by example then, completely failing to post! :)

Here's what I've learned to do when I blow it (which is often, so this is a handy tip to have): I ask, "Will you forgive me?" So, my wonderful blog friends, I'm asking: Will you forgive me?

Okay, on to today! Our Luke chapter is a complicated one. Here's the "big question," I think: What is our cornerstone? What are we building on?

When we build, the cornerstone is the first block we lay down, the one that sets the entire foundation. I heard a sermon on this that talked about how carefully builders of old chose the cornerstone. Today, now that construction tends to be more automated and haphazard (and he was describing both literal houses and spiritual ones) we don't think so much about what we build on, and we pay the price for that down the road. Hearing this made me think of a neighborhood I once lived in where new houses were tipping over and sinking into the ground because the builder hadn't made sure they were properly sited.

Some of us might say that our cornerstone is Jesus (especially if we were raised in a church where we learned that this was a good thing to say). But our lives suggest otherwise. Let's be honest: there is huge pressure to build our life on our career aspirations, pleasing our parents, assuaging our low-self esteem, keeping up a pretty facade...the list goes on and on. Right now, I'm hugely tempted to make my cornerstone my writing, and this manuscript I'm wrestling with, trying to finish it by the deadline. And my house is tipping and sinking...

It doesn't do any good to feel bad about this, because feeling bad typically leads to guilt, not change. Jesus wants to be the cornerstone of our lives, the one we build on. Which means that most of us have some demolition to do so that we can start over and get things set up in a way that will work...and last.

Talk to God today. Ask Him, "What is my cornerstone?" and "What should I do about that?" Then do what He suggests!

I'm always amazed by His answers to these questions :)


Sarakastic said...

I'm glad you are back!

kim said...

I like when you said feeling bad and guilty isn't the answer. God is showing me more and more that he doesn't want me doing this. As he shines the light on the dark, I hear him saying be hopeful (that things are changing), not hopeless. Not going into the bad feelings and discouragement feels like using a new muscle, but I'm just starting to get a glimpse of this new way.

Stella said...

Whew, this is serious food for thought ...

I have to admit, my foundation is looking a little shabby!

Anonymous said...

there is a relationship in my life, that i would not exactly call a cornerstone but a stumbling block. i have prayed for God to bring it to an has been a vicious cycle for 10 years. i really feel God telling me i have to end it; He is not going to do it for me. i also have a sneaking suspicion that God cannot give me the wonderful things He has planned for me, until i let go of this relationship. i do not want to be the bad guy, and i do not want to be alone. please pray for me that God will make Himself clear and that i will follow He direction.

Breeza said...

I'm just so thankful for this blog. It really starts my day off right and I have been spending time in prayer each day for the day whereas before I only did devotions and prayertime at night. I've noticed such a difference when I ask God to have His touch on every single and tiny event in my life. He is so faithful!