Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 9: We will all run out of sugar

"We will all run out of bread. And we will all run out of sugar. And we will all run out of wine, that's fine. Cause it will all come back in time... and it will all be alright."



Okay, I'm pretty sure the Ryanhood guys mean something deep and metaphorical with this line, but for me it's literal. I run out of everything food related (my inexplicable aversion to grocery shopping may be part of the problem) and now that we live a million miles from the nearest store, nourishment is more about cobbling a few odd things together three times a day than partaking of genius gourmet feasts.

I like to think that it's like camping :)

If I'm not paying attention, I run out of stuff spiritually, too. As with food, I can coast along feeling and looking okay for quite awhile between meals, surviving on accumulated great moments with God (the ones that inspire me to believe that I can jump high and run fast and have an impossibly super-great life). But then, suddenly, the "alright" is gone, and I'm a wreck. It's like the moment when you realize your blood sugar is way too low and someone needs to roll you a donut NOW...there are times when my spirit crashes and immediate attention is required.

Not that this is happening today--this morning, I'm just (literally) out of bread and sugar--but it's a good to think about ahead of time, because in those low moments, I tend to mistake my spiritual dips for spiritual crises. It's important to know the difference between "I'm hungry" and "I'm wasting away."

I mentioned a few days ago that I'm really liking this book on prayer. In it, I've found three ways of praying that I've never thought of before in quite this way: waiting, watching, and listening. It's mortifying to admit this, but it's been a giant relief to be able to shut up during prayer time, and see what God has to say. And it's helping me stay stocked up. I've come to think of these times as "What to do in a spiritual emergency," a slogan, sort of like the fire safety warning we learned in kindergarten. But instead of Stop, Drop & Roll, it's Wait, Watch & Listen. (I guess you could do both together, which would make for a rather unique afternoon...)

We'll talk about these more over the next few days.

Have you ever noticed how much of trying to follow Jesus is negotiating the tension between things that seem, on the surface, contradictory? We see that today. We're talking about staying stocked up, and yet we see Jesus, in today's Luke chapter, sending out his disciples to try "doing the stuff" on their own. He tells them NOT to stock up, not to take any extra supplies with them, but to trust they'll be provided for along the way. Kind of interesting to think about places in our lives where we can do this, places where God says, "Trust me...I've got it covered" and we have to make a conscious choice rather or not we believe Him.

I'm not sure there's a universal answer to when to stock up and when to travel light and trust; I think the answers are unique, situational, and personal. Wait, Watch & Listen seems like a fun way to tap in.

7 comments:

Sarakastic said...

I just moved too. I find it overwhelming when I think of all the stuff I don't have or won't be able to get. Then I look at the 10 million dollar view out of my not 10 million dollar apartment and remember why I did this. Still everyday I freak out that I'm going to run out of stuff or money or not be able to make it here, but I never do.

LarramieG said...

Faith is the best, most constant companion wherever you are.

Stella said...

Wait, Watch & Listen ... Spot-on!

I get into trouble when I grow impatient and decide God must need my help 'cause something is taking a long time (in my timeline, not HIS) to appear. That's usually when my life goes into TILT! mode.

PS--Wasn't "Wait, Watch & Listen" one of the books in the "Dick & Jane" primary school reading series? GRIN, Stella (YES, I'm THAT old!)

Suzanne said...

Throughout this chapter, in many ways Christ challenges his followers to walk in faith, which is sometimes just the scariest thing to do.

heiress said...

I am becoming more and more intrigued by this book on prayer you talk about. I have read articles were people discuss being quiet and listening to the still small voice as some of the best times with GOD they have experienced.

I think I might try it...

Abby Green said...

I have found that when I'm actually able to be still enough and not think about all of the other things I "need" to do, and can hear God (usually I don't "hear" anything, but get a picture in my mind), I feel closest to God. I get frustrated with myself though that I rarely give myself the time to do this on a regular (if not daily!) basis. I think this might be something I add into my 40 days here...

Liza said...

Wait, Watch, & Listen is so perfect. I struggle with waiting for God's timeline all the time. That is one of the things I'm really trying to work on in this 40 days. I also might have to order the prayer book you are reading. I went to the Amazon site and read about it and I know that it will really help me with my daily prayer time.