Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Tank is Empty

In case you've become a regular reader, that is if I have any (uh, besides you CyberGal, I know you're reading!) and you've noticed that my posts have been a lot more - shall we say - shallow? There's a reason why.

You see, my tank is empty. Spiritual tank that is. On "E." The big E. Zero, zip, zilch, nothing, nada, the big goose egg. Empty.

I think it happens to most people at one time or another, but I don't like when it happens to me. Especially because I know why.

Oh, sure, there are the obvious reasons or excuses like: I'm busy, I have a lot of work. But for me, that isn't the REAL reason.

The real reason is because I've hit that wonderful place in my relationship with God that he wants to take me to a new level. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is very exciting. It also happens to be terrifying. And I know that some of you may be wondering why I think it is so terrifying. After all, isn't God out to do us good? And the answer to that question is a resounding YES. It's just how he goes about it.

Don't be confused. The Lord of heaven and earth is kind, compassionate and gentle. He isn't going to make me do anything I don't want to do. Believe me when tell you I want to get to the next place he has for me in maturity in my walk and my relationship with Him. It's going to rock. However, to get to that place there is something required of me. Death.

Death you say? Yes. Death to me. Death to my knowledge, death to my preconceptions, death to the natural, death to my flesh - this rotting stinking flesh that will do nothing more than end up in the dirt somewhere. And you see, death to my flesh is precisely what my flesh isn't interested in doing. No. I'm not talking about flagellation or anything like that. I'm speaking of the things of the flesh. The natural and carnal desires of the mind and body. Think if you will to Maslow's Hierarchy.

But God, the King of the Universe wants to take me past that place. He wants to get me out of myself and my own narrow limitations of all that he's made me, and all that he has for me. But to get there I have to get rid of my own ideas. OH! And how we do love our own ideas. The brilliant minds that we have, the sterling thoughts! The mind that sees what others do not, the voice that speaks with wisdom that others should seek! Yes, I love my flesh. In the natural I do. But not in the spiritual.

In the spiritual realm my flesh reeks as a putrid carcass. It holds me down in this base reality. It keeps me looking at my past and focusing on only what my five senses can see and and/or understand. It keeps me focused on the small and the mean rather than the great and the wonderful. It keeps my mind on me instead of dwelling in the place of the Almighty. Oh, how I hate that flesh!

So, that's where I am. That's my struggle. That's why I'm on E. It's because, as the song says... "I hear the voice, the voice of the one I love. It's calling my name... It says, Come up higher and hear the angels sing. Come up higher my beloved. Come up higher and leave this world behind, you'll find it to be beautiful." And so, until I can - as they say - "mortify the flesh" to step up to that place, I'm going to remain on E. It's because God wants me to come up, to step up to another place in him. It's a place that I've got to rest to get to. (that's why scripture says that we labor to enter his rest). It's a place of intimacy with him that I haven't had before. A new place in a relationship that requires that I leave my disfunction behind.

Of course, I can't do that without him.

If you've read The Chronicles of Narnia, you may have read the Voyage of the Dawntreader. In the book, the boy Eustance by way of a magical bracelet or curse, becomes a dragon. It's really the result and the outward manifestation of his own heart. Then, one evening, Eustance encounters Aslan, the great lion who is the metaphor of Christ in the books. Aslan invites Eustance to get out of his dragon skin (he is a large reptile essentially after all) and get into the pool to be free. But Eustance, though he uses his great dragon claws, can't do it himself. He needs Aslan to do it. And when Aslan does it, the great lion's claws rip deep into Eustance. Deep into the place at the core where he needs to get to so that he can take away the dragon skin and get to the boy inside.

That's what I need.

So, here I am. Me and the Lord. And though I'm empty right now and I've nothing to give - I know that God's going to get me to a place someday soon. Not because I'm anything great. No. But because I'm desperate. Desperate for him. Desperate to fulfill what he has for me. Desperate to be what I'm called to be. Desperate to love fully. Desperate to become a better husband and dad. Desperate. And, I know according to scripture that God is a rewarder of those that diligently (and desperately) seek him.

So, I'm on E. But. I have hope. And hopefully soon I'll post something that has some depth, some spiritual impact, some resonance for your souls. Something other than some cute pictures of my kids. Soon.

Peace!

1 comment:

jimmmaaa said...

Hi MacPhilly, I really like your blog. Although, I am not much of a Metroman, (I would proabably be more neandrothalic with a poetic, passionate side.) I really like the sense of authenticty you exhibit and your desire to strive after God in this busy crazy world. I live on the Left Coast in CA and I too work in technology, telecom, to be specific, but not as a consultant. I have 3 kids but we are stopping there. ...I have relatives in both Rhode Island and MA, and was back there for a marathon vacation this past spring. Stumbling accross you excellent blog was a like a fresh cup of water...