Human nature is a funny thing. If we hire a maid, we clean up before she comes. If we join a gym, we try to get in shape before we actually go.
And we decide that we will come to God tomorrow…or the next day…just as soon as we get this or that straightened out.
We want to come to God on our terms, when things are on an even keel and our *stuff* is neatly categorized and labelled and stuffed into boxes or shoved under the rug, out of sight. Like gracious hostesses, we then step to the door, adjust our string of pearls, and invite God in to tea.
And this is okay with God; if this is all we give Him, He will take it. He will drink the tea with one pinkie finger aloft, listen to your vapid conversation, and stay as long as you allow Him.
But He can’t do much with you.
And He longs to do so much.
Why the self-protection, I wonder? What could be worse than living with all that ignominious crap piled in corners and bulging out of closets, demonically snickering from the darkness under our spiritual beds, where we lie uneasily, waiting for it to pounce as soon as we let our guard down?
Living without it, I suppose.
Just what would we do without the weight of all of it, the crushing burden of carrying it, the busy-ness with which we pile it here and there, and then unpack it and pile it somewhere else in an effort to feel like we are making progress? Oh, I put that into the “lies I have believed” bin? Silly me! It’s really much more sensible to place it here, in “lack of faith”! Hallelujah! Progress!”
Just how light would we be, how far could we fly, how large could we live, if we loosened our grip on the shit that we think defines us? Why, we might fly completely into pieces, forget who we were, become someone altogether transformed!
It’s a terrifyingly glorious thought.
God doesn’t want to come into the one room of our soul where we’ve swept and dusted and tidied and polished. While we sit, blithering on to Him about how we‘d like to go down this path now, and would He please bless our endeavor in this or that, He’s eyeing with longing the doors that we’ve tightly shut–the ones that rattle and hum with devilish activity–and the drawers that sag with memories unhealed and unredeemed.
He waits for us to invite Him to make sense and order of our chaos. To obliterate and incinerate and repudiate.
What are we waiting for? Is it just too messy, too painful?
He knows all about messy and painful. His life on earth was heaped high with both. Born into straw and manure, through blood and flesh, He entered the world and cried at the shock of air on skin that never knew cold. He put on the man-suit and covered his feet daily with the dust it was made from. He touched leprous sores that oozed with disease, made mud from his own spit to patch blind eyes, and placed his fingers on mute tongues, commanding them to speak. He sweated, wept, ate and drank. One could assume that He also eliminated, but to suggest such a thing is heading into dangerous waters, so I will refrain.
Lastly, He died. He hung on a cross naked (it would be indecent to show Christ hanging on the cross completely naked, but that is what scripture tells us happened. We must clothe him just a wee bit as He hangs up there, just drape that same cloth across his nether-regions that He wore in the Christmas-manger-scenes so that both are equally ridiculous) and the Son of God endured more humiliation and pain on that day than we can properly conceive of.
And we have the unmitigated gall to suggest that our mess is just too gross for Him?
The truth is that even if we believe our past contains crap God needs to deal with, we’d like just a little while longer to stroke it, fondle it, and sigh over it. Because there’s stuff in there that we don’t hate enough. There’s stuff mixed in there with the embarrassment and shame and sorrow…stuff that we think we need. Stuff that we think defines us. And if we let Him in, then He will surely sweep it all away in one cataclysmic blast and all that would be left is…….boring.
Yes. Because if we let Him come and rearrange our souls and purify our minds and give us His divine nature, we will be so very boring.
Because Jesus was so boring, wasn’t He? Oh my, what a boring fellow He was. We wouldn’t want to be like Him.
And that, right there, is just how ridiculous we are.