I have been a spastic wind-up toy.

It's true. Let me tell you how I know.

We've signed up for a great experiment at church. As a church, we are all covenanting (is that a word) to spend at least 30 minutes in prayer/journaling/Scripture-reading every day. We will fast for one 24-hour period each week, and we will participate in a small group (for many reasons, but not the least of which is to have folks to hold us accountable for above activities).

Our focus Scripturally is the Book of Matthew. I have been reading and digesting it, with the help of Dr. Hauerwas. I am only on Chapter 2, as I am trying my best to digest slowly and not race through like a speed-eating champion. I tend to read fast with momentary comprehension, so I am fighting the good fight to "read deeply."

In Chapter 2, at some point in my life, I underlined all the times Matthew uses the word dream. This chapter is basically about the birth of Christ, his parents, King Herod, and wise men. Obviously something big is going down, so God makes sure everyone understands what should happen by speaking to them in dreams...

...wise men--God warns them in a dream not to return to Herod

...Joseph--he must have slept A LOT! In this chapter alone, he has three distinct directives in dreams...

1. Go to Egypt. Herod is hunting baby boys.

2. Return to Israel. Herod is dead.

3. No, really. It's ok to go back, but settle in Galilee.

And even with all of these specific directives, it mentions that "Joseph is afraid." I mean, this guy has had angels show up in his bedroom! He KNOWS the Lord is real, the Lord is speaking to him, etc. And he still has room for fear. (side note: I wonder how frightening it would be to know that you are parenting the Son of God? Did Jesus need "parenting?" I imagine he never got dragged into a fast food restroom and given the what-for! Were his siblings jealous that he never got in trouble? "Jesus is perfect...he never gets a spanking..." I could go on for hours...)

All of that to say. The Lord is always speaking to us. He is desperate to get through to us, to tell us where to go, what to say, when to do this or that...and that He loves us, he has plans for us...What I have realized in reading just this chapter. I have not rested enough in quiet places to hear God's voice so distinctly. I saw a clear picture of myself as a little wind-up toy, as you might get with a Happy Meal. You wind them 'til you can't wind anymore, and watch them zip around in every direction until they tucker out. Yup. That's me. And while I'm buzzing, I'm rarely listening to God...until I get tuckered out and still...worn out by life and desperate for an answer and clear direction. No more buzzing about. Wind up toys are for kids.

Dear old Donald Miller recounts a story in which a friend tells him reality is like wine...not for children. And the reality is, I cannot continue letting my life live me while squeezing in devotions, short prayers for help, and quiet moments. I need to grow up in the Lord, and discipline my spiritual life, not because I want something...but because He wants me. Not the wind-up toy me, but a real, live, present me...devoted and fueled up for the long haul.

Those wind-up toys always end up breaking anyway.

1 comment:

Sheila said...

I recently heard that there are five major ways that Muslim come to Christ... one is DREAMS! It's amazing that God still works in that part of the world in that way!