Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I have been studying French for a year now. Recently I learned that "to light" is "s'allumer" in French. We're assuming it is derived from the same word as illuminate which is from the Latin - illuminare, which means "to light up". I found this interesting and very appropriate to what God has been doing in my life. You're probably familiar with this scenario - something unexpected happens to you and you find you respond in a way that shocks and surprises even you. I believe such incidents are not accidental, but are instead choreographed into our lives by a loving God who is ever perfecting us as we are transformed into the image and likeness of His son.
But it can be discouraging at times. We feel we have made so much progress and then something hits us that makes us question how much, or even if, we have grown at all spiritually. While praying about this recently God spoke to me and what he said encouraged me. He told me that our inner spiritual journey is like a walk from darkened room to darkened room and in each room we enter we turn on the light - if we have the courage.
We all have things in us that need to change - some we are aware of, and some hang like unnoticed cobwebs in a darkened room we rarely venture into. God never forces us into those areas, but always presents us with a choice. We can turn and close the door and walk away, or we can choose to venture in and turn on the light. And it really is all about choice. We have to choose to honestly look at those things within us that are yet to be transformed. We have to look at that bitterness, that lust, that selfishness, that self-righteous attitude, that self-pity, that inability to give or receive love, that unwillingness to forgive, that lack of trust - its ultimately our choice.
No one will force us - not even God.
Do you have the courage to s'allumer?
Monday, July 03, 2006
A couple of years ago a wonderful friend took me on a trip to the southwest. While driving we saw far off in the distance Shiprock. Like so much of the southwest, even from a distance its massiveness was a spectacle to behold. Before returning home I bought a beautiful little plaque that stated, "Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking." When I returned home I had a dream. I was wandering in the desert at night. I had been trying to find shiprock. It was so dark I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. After wandering for a while like this, certain I was lost, I decided to lay down for the night and wait for morning. When I awakened at dawns first light I opened my eyes to see shiprock looming high above me. I had unknowingly stopped my wanderings right at its base the night before. I began to climb its towering heights and as I did the Spirit of God fell heavy on me. The higher I climbed, the heavier it became and I began to weep with joy as I was consumed by the presence of God. I keep a picture of Shipwrock close at hand and when I am going through things other than the presence of God that are trying to consume me I look at it and meditate on it and remember the meaning of the dream. Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking.