I've been listening to a guy named Graham Cooke because he is basically my friend Kathy's other husband... I mean he's not reeeeaaaally, and she might be mad that I said that... but it shows her appreciation for what he has to say... and what kind of man he is. My friend Kathy is happily married... to one man... she is not a sister-wife... don't worry. She has always told me about Graham Cooke and she let me borrow a teaching of his.... way too long ago to admit, and I am just now listening to it... and now he is my husband too... no, but I now understand her esteem :-)
I love to listen to people speak of Jesus. I don't just like sermons all the time, but I like when people communicate Jesus as they see Him through their eyes... and in truth of course.
There is something so refreshing about being renewed with the love of God. To remember such a simple truth... that He loves us. Its an everyday thought but a rare belief. I taste it all the time but I can't always drink it down. Sometimes though, I get it for a second and I cry. I love to cry because of love.
Sometimes I feel like old cheese... gross I know... I do though sometimes, like I've been aged by the cares of this shadow life... its only a breath.... here and gone in a moment.... yet it has great capabilities to wound us. I wish I could remember, say like on a Tuesday at 3pm while in the grocery store... that life is so short. That no matter what comes our way in the shadow, there is the hope of eternity just waiting to be pondered. Maybe that would make me stop for a moment amongst the one million cereal choices and remember Jesus. I want to remember in the moments that feel meaningless- that there is actually so much to glean because God did an amazing thing and that gives meaning to even the moments that are hidden in the isles of mundane grocery shopping. I want to remember in the moments where conscious thoughts seem to evaporate from our minds as we turn down the same streets in our cars like robots in the routine of our everyday.... that this moment is actually extraordinary.... because God did an extraordinary thing. But oh how easily we forget... and we let the cereal isle overtake us; our routine leaves us thoughtless... and all of these things muddy the moments that have the potential to be crystal clear snippets of praise. Sure, life is not always adventurous, and sometimes the event of the day is deciding between Captain Crunch and Cocoa Pebbles, but we are actually, simultaneously seated with Christ in heavenly places too... we just don't grasp it... and its hard to grasp it under the florescent light of the grocery store while Cinnamon Toast Crunch is flirting with your heart. I want to spend my moments in grace and truth... whether in the grocery store or deep in worship. I want to age well with God. Some things get better with age.... like wine.... and I'd like to be wine instead of old cheese. Could I be wine Lord? Let every wrinkle come with wisdom please.... 'cause if not, then I will just be stinky, old cheese. When my hair goes gray and crows land their feet on the outer corners of my eyes.... let it not be for naught Lord, but if it must come, let it be accompanied by the wisdom of Solomon.
I'm glad I'm not 17. I mean... 28 can be really hard sometimes... but I'm not 17. I remember 17. So epic and gut-wrenching. The thought of getting older is avoided and believed to be tragic in our culture... and I admit I hate it too sometimes, but the beautiful wisdom that comes with age and another year of life-lived is priceless. Something that would have absolutely killed me at 17 is only a bump in the road these days. Imagine when I'm 70... sigh.. I'll have this life thing in the bag... no problem. I know that's probably not true... but I won't be 28... and I'll remember 28 and think, "I'm glad I'm not 28..." The actual truth is that I'm not all that much greater than I was at 17, but I've learned to lean a little harder. With every passing year, I find that I'm leaning just a little more on Jesus as life throws me curves and twists and sometimes punches me in the face. I get tired and can't stand up as straight as I did before, but its a lovely thing to know I can lean..... that He can take the weight of some of these burdens I'm toting around. Graham Cooke says the cross is light. We are to take on His yoke... because it is light and easy. How nice. Why do we make it seem so heavy? He did all of the heavy lifting for us and now our burden is light. He took in the milk and all of the soda cans out of the car from the grocery trip and left us only the chips to carry. So nice. I hate taking in groceries from the car... hate it so much, but I don't mind carrying the airy bag of chips.... I can handle that. For real though, life is too short to take on burdens that have already been carried and the moments are too few to waste.
Thank you God... for being extraordinary... and for doing extraordinary things. You are what makes life worth living. You are more than reason enough to lift our gaze and You are worth every snippet of our praise. Thanks for your shoulder to lean on.... and thanks for carrying in the milk.