Mark 4:35 tells a story that most church people are familiar with, but it's been a minute since I gave a Valencia Version translation, so....walk with me. Jesus has been doing...Jesus things: giving people the absolute business about what God and His kingdom are really like. Once He's done, He turns to the disciples & says "let's take a trip." They hop in a few boats....and all is well...until hell breaks loose (because that's the usual protocol when you do what Jesus tells you to do). They're in the middle of a body of water, and winds get high, water is everywhere (including in the boat), and Jesus.....is asleep.
I am currently reading a book…that is getting on my nerves. The nerve wrecking book is Rooted by Banning Liebscher. Rooted is nerve wrecking because it, like any good book, presents a challenge in how I viewed God. More specifically, a challenge in the foundation of my relationship with God. I hate to suffer alone, you know? So let me bring you in on my….growth journey…by asking you a question: do you know God?
“At what point did you earn the right to quit?” This…this is the question that summarizes my life lately. In my own little defense, I haven’t completely quit (don’t panic, I didn’t denounce God or anything like that)…I just fell into “the sunken place” of laziness. Life got a little scressful (no not stressful, I passed that a while ago), my schedule changed, hours have this way of turning into days, & days keep becoming months. Eventually, I looked up one day, and couldn’t find my discipline. I couldn’t access that ‘ok…do it anyway…the hustle doesn’t stop because _____’ mentality. Baby girl was TIRED, ok! I used tired as an excuse to fall off…of everything. You may have noticed that it’s been a few weeks since a new post was uploaded. I stopped working out (used my hair as an excuse & everything lol). You may be thinking that I’m talking without purpose, I promise Im not (lol). I’m telling you this because…
(Soooo....it's been a while. HI!...again)
I (try to) go to the gym regularly. Typically, it’s a terrible experience, especially when it’s been a while. The interesting thing about going to the gym is that pain…is the goal. If you don’t “feel it” (if it doesn’t hurt a certain way), it’s not working. We have sayings like “no pain, no gain”, & “sweat is weakness leaving the body”, to push us…to keep suffering…to endure. Yet…we fail to see life the same way. We expect it with our bodies, because we walk into a location called a ‘gym’, but what do you when life….is a gym? What do you do when your mind is constantly on a treadmill…on its highest speed…at all times? What do you do when everything feels like…a workout? Well, you do the same thing you do at the gym. For where there is no pain, there’s no true gain.
Let’s go back….over 2017 years. Jesus is fresh out (of the tomb), and nobody knows a thing. Mary (His mom) & Mary Magdalene get to the tomb, having a chit chat about how this has easily been the worst weekend ever (it’s up there with the day that Lazarus died) and wondering who is going to roll the stone away for them to pay their respects. Ohhhh but they had no idea that the stone wouldn’t be a problem at all, and that they had probably walked right past the living Man they were coming to mourn.
Today is a holiday we call Good Friday; it’s a day that we celebrate death. Good Friday is the day that nothing good seemed to happen. On what we now call Good Friday, Jesus was snatched, because one of his disciples sold Him out. On ‘Good Friday’, the very people that screamed ‘Hosanna’ (literally, a week ago), now surrounded Jesus screaming for His crucifixion (my…how their song has changed). On Good Friday, Jesus was mocked and brutally beaten, forced himself up a hill, and surrendered Himself to the nails that they put in His hands & His feet. On Good Friday, He handled His final affairs, & committed His spirit to His Father. On Good Friday, Life….died.
Earlier this week, I read about this…woman. I never got her name, but I heard a pretty defining piece of her story. Apparently, she’d been ill & bent over for 18 years. She walked in the synagogue one day, and heard this man (known on the streets as Jesus) call her name. She walked over to Him (because dude was a pretty big deal), and He says “woman, you are loosed from your infirmity”, laid hands on her, and BAM, she’s just like new. I thought about it, and I realized that in a lot of ways, I’d been like that woman. I hadn’t been physically ill for decades, but…ok…let’s sit & break this down.
Genesis 32 takes us deeper into the story of Jacob. At this point in his journey (arguably, the most important), Jacob is on is way to reunite with his brother. They don’t have the best of histories - so he knows that this may not end well. Therefore, he sent his family ahead of him (with a peace offering) to warm up his brother, and right now…he’s in the woods. Suddenly, this…man shows up & starts fighting….(rude, right?!)
This morning, I read Colossians 3:23, which says “and whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” To me, it served as a wake up call, and I wondered if you needed one too. I get it. It’s March. The new year feeling is long gone. Midnight has lost its magical sparkle. Gyms are empty. Some old attitudes have returned. Relationships that we said we’d cut may or may not be back in action. In some ways, we’ve lost our….umph. Why?
Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us that there’s a time & a purpose for everything. There’s a time to be born, and a time to die. There’s a time to build up, and a time to break down. There’s a time to weep, and a time to laugh. There’s a time to…”embrace”, and a time to pull yourself together & refrain from embracing. Time to gain, time to lose; time to keep, time to throw away. Time to be quiet, time to speak; time of war, time of peace. Everything has a set time and a set season. So, one of the most important questions in our lives today (and everyday) is: what time is it?
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
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