Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Will of God

I imagined being a boy again. Isn't that fun... going back to the days of your youth, from that perspective, even if only in your imagination? I imagine riding my bike to my friend's house, enjoying more the ride home of course... downhill speeds and minimal pedaling... oh yeah! The sun's rays would speckle the ground through the trees' canopy... slow-motion as I lean to and fro, slaloming down my block. The joy, the innocence, the warmth... life is at its best in that moment.
If I were to have my own autobiographical movie, I'd have fun creating the background music. Jason Upton sings about this whistle in the Will of God. There is this whistle in God's Will. Isn't that beautiful? Imagine this whistle (or better yet, listen to the song) as the background music to one of the scenes of your youth. When I do, I get this sense of peace, this incredible peace and satisfaction with life, like it would be all too soon for the moment to end... Heaven would be this moment for eternity.
The problem lies in the fact that we age, and in so doing, lose innocence... We get hurt and start closing our hearts to others, and God. I think that's why finding Jesus for the first time is so great... exciting. We get to reclaim that innocence, to surrender our hearts to the Lord, and it is great! But again, the problem lies in the fact that we age (as believers), and in so doing, lose trust of God to protect us, to love us. The world screams the opposite, that no one is safe to trust... "Watch out for yourself! Lower your guard to no one... you will only be taken advantage of, or abandoned... better to stay closed off!"
Looking back to my youth, I remember no vicious fear of losing security. My parents were gods, impenetrable to attack or failure. Isn't that how God is really? Isn't our image of God reflective of our parents' image, even after maturity, when we grow distant... Now, in my life, my devotion to God is set... I will always be in the Body of Christ, always returning home as the prodigal, day after day, month after month, etc. But my image of God hold many disappointments still... and I know the Gospel! I know there are errors in my perceptual set of God!

So the question is this: how do we reconcile our understanding of God, thus learning to trust him whole-heartedly, as a child does his father? Isn't that the very nature of the Will of God, to know and act as the Children of God that we are?
Our fears get in the way of our relationship with God. We fear, so we react poorly, filling our insecurity with shiny things... idols. How my pride sparkles! It shimmers and blinds me... I don't even see my fear anymore, I'm too distracted. Or the glistening flesh found a mouse-click or two away... get enough of that and I'll feel safe... for a while. Or simply give everyone what they want to see, reserved, distinguished, mysterious... don't dare make things awkward or ruffle others' feathers! "No, stay under the radar and you'll be approved by them, and that will be enough for you."

I want to hear that whistle again... I want to experience that peace, that warmth as the whistle reverberates through my mind and heart and I know I am surrounded by grace and the strength of the Lord. It is easy being a kid, a child of God. Daddy carries the burden! Hell, Daddy carries me!!! And the only voice you hear, the only voice that carries any weight is Daddy's, for his word is the Law! What a great peace to trust the Father.

Why, then, is it so hard to hear Him now? Have we so forgotten to listen that we don't recognize when he does call?

"Only your will fills...
The void inside of me.
There's a whistle in your will...
Your yoke is easy,
Your burden is so light...
It's the bondage breaker...
The Will of the Lord...
And your whistle,
It blows off all the stuff

That tries to push me along
And move me forward,
And your whistle sets me free

Open our ears, O God...
Rise, O God, and break off
that Man-pleasing Spirit…

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…
Break off that man-pleasing spirit…
The spirit that leads us into foolishness,
The spirit that leads us into foolish ways
Open up our ears…
to hear you sing over us,
to hear your whistle, O God…"

- Jason Upton Whistle of Your Will
Dying Star)

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