Resistance builds strength. You know this. I know this. We both fight it. We don’t like conflict, but without conflict I don’t think we can truly appreciate arriving at our “destinations.” The resistance and obstacles we encounter make receiving what we work for even sweeter.
It’s a delight to read the writings of so many of you because we have such kindred spirits. The blog movement has been a blessing to me since the days of MySpace. That’s where my first blog began. It evolved into Blogger, and after I was published I went with WordPress. I had to take down the previous WordPress I had for personal reasons, but obviously I came back because I must write. I’ve since tried my hand at “business” writing on LinkedIn because as you know I have my own business. I’m not a business writer per se because my advanced training was in religion, but I’ve received some on-the-job-training in the business world, so I have a rudimentary knowledge about it. I know what spreadsheets are, I meet with my accountant regularly, and I like to be paid when I clean these lovely homes in Nashville. Sometimes that hasn’t happened, but they’ll answer one day. It may not be in this life, but their actions will be revealed.
I’ve learned to pay more attention to detail in this resistance I speak of, and life is a great educator through fairness and unfairness. My faith has grown as I approach the big 5-0. I’m not quite there yet because I turn 47 on October 3. I felt I needed to clarify that. 🙂 I find myself reading the non-fiction I read everyday being able to filter everything through my Christian faith because even when I’ve been at rock bottom I’m enamored at the presence of Jesus Christ, and when a statement that collides with that faith makes the hair on my neck stand up I know an evil angel, if not Satan himself, is in the room. I know why they continue to antagonize me because they’ve seen the height I’ve fallen from before, but I think they also underestimate the desire I have to advance the agenda of my Father. I’ve spoken with some here lately about whether we are going to hell in a hand basket, or is America experiencing a revival, and a large percentage have said hell in a hand basket. I haven’t really objected to their answers, and I see how they come to those conclusions because I could easily rest upon that conclusion too, but I don’t. Here’s why.
As I see 9/11 I see generations looking at faith in much more different ways than previous generations. I use two adverbs to describe “different” because I think it’s that radical. Denominational lines in evangelical circles are not as important as they once were, and I think that’s good. Even whether someone chooses between the Catholic faith or any other Protestant faith doesn’t matter because not only are people seeking God, but they are deeply rooted in Jesus who becomes more real with each passing decade.
Our respect for women and minorities is also hugely different because we are standing up against the bullying that Jesus never condoned, nor does He condone now. God is the same yesterday, today and forever remember. His love breaks down gender, economics, and lifestyle. Sin is still sin, and I don’t care how many people say something is ok, but if the Creator of the universe says it’s not it’s not. Don’t shoot the messenger. Actually that would be a great way to go. I don’t want to stay here forever, not because I fight depression and I’m fatalistic. I’m not, but because the new earth is going to be more wonderful than we can possibly imagine. That new body He’s preparing for me, and the fact that my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life is all the info I need to know this world is not my home.
That’s one thing I learned early on growing up as a nomadic person. This world has never been my home, and I’m not dreading death. The Masonhall’s bought my brothers and me bunk beds in California, and I remember crying into my pillow as a fifth and sixth grader on that bed dreaming about my parents dying, but I no longer fear that either because I know they don’t, and faith is the most important thing they instilled in my brothers and me. I’d love another 30 years with them, but even if we have that long it will pass very quickly. Either way the day will come when my parents will pass. There will also come a day when my brothers and me will say goodbye to each other. Our family of origin taught us how to navigate that resistance.
Christ conquered death. That’s not a bumper sticker. That’s reality. Death is still hard. He knows that, but He gives us the strength to face every resistance in life. He also heals and prolongs life. He actively seeks us when we seek Him. He never ignores any of us in our pain. He may not deliver us from suffering, and we might even suffer through illness and death of loved ones as many of you have.
I would say that is the greatest resistance isn’t it?
The Tennessee Titans play the Indianapolis Colts tomorrow at noon in Nashville. We go to church right next to the stadium. We aren’t going tomorrow because we aren’t going against that traffic coming and going to church. As far as I know they have church when games are going on, but sometimes when you fight depression with anger management issues you have to draw strict boundaries. Welcome to my world. It’s neither good nor bad. It just is, and God’s unconditional love stands just as strong.
I don’t know if there will be football games on the new earth, but I do know there will be powerful worship services that never end, so whether or not we have sporting events on the new earth doesn’t really matter.
What will matter is that there will be no resistance to our access to the perfect Father. We’ll all literally be on the same team.