Thursday, March 26, 2015

He Hid

It's been a long time since posting very much on the blog.  Much has transpired over this time and rather than try to catch up, I will start where I am.

I do not know how much I will be writing about running and racing, so if you come here for that, you might be a bit uninterested in what I am writing.  Perhaps not.  Either way, you are welcome to stay and even comment if you'd like.  

Today's Gospel is quite the powerhouse, isn't it?  Jesus is telling the elders that HE is equivalent to God by using the phrase, I AM.  At this point in time, that name was only used by Yahweh Himself.  

Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”So they picked up stones to throw at him;but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

Most every reflection I read on this particular Gospel passage speaks to the profound power in the "I AM" and as it should be.  Today, however, I was struck by the last line...

but Jesus HID and went out of the temple area.

Jesus hid himself from his people.  And in placing myself in the Living Word, I see that Jesus hid from me.  Why?  Why does He hide himself and then LEAVE the temple?!  I felt very uncomfortable with this.  As I sat with the scripture a bit more, I recall that in the Old Testament, God hid his face from his people when he found they were doing evil; when they lacked faithfulness.  In this passage, the Jews were about to stone Him.  For the sake of their souls, and because He knew it was not yet His time for His Passion, Jesus hid himself and left the area so that He could carry out his mission.  In reading through the entire 8th chapter of John, we first see that he meets the adulterous woman and challenges the Pharisees and some might even say out-witted them by not blaspheming God, but instead, point to the sins of all the accusers.  He then offers forgiveness to the woman and then begins to immediately reveal to the Pharisees exactly who He is, "the Light of the World",   Of course the Pharisees question his credibility by pointing out that He is testifying on his own behalf.   Jesus then answers this by telling them that The Father will testify for Him because The Father sent him!  Can you imagine the anger that was being stoked in the hearts of the Pharisees?!

Jesus is allowed to leave and not be arrested and he begins to teach about sin, their sinfulness, and how he has come to save them all.  He reminds them that "if they were children of Abraham, they would be doing the work of Abraham", (Jn 8:39)  In other words, they were not living as faithful people of God, rather they were steeped in sin.

The passages continue with much more deep revelation about who Jesus is and why He came.  He even tells the people that they belong to their father the devil!  Ouch!

But back to what struck me today...Jesus Hid.  In my life today, does Jesus ever hide from me?  I have always felt that when I am furthest from him, it is because I have turned away from him.  I still believe that this is true, but perhaps it is even deeper than that.  Perhaps, just as when someone I love is doing something I can't bear to watch, literally or figuratively, I hide my face from them.  I do not watch.  I ignore.  Radio Silence.   I wonder,   Does Jesus hide his precious face from me when I sin?  When I am not faithfully living in the Gospel?  Scripture tells me that God does.  And when I think of the possibility that Jesus might be so hurt by my sin, I am dismayed.  

Psalm 30:7 mentions that David too was dismayed when God hid his face.  Why does God do this?  I am not a scholar, nor a theologian, but I have to wonder, does Jesus hide because it helps me to yearn to see Him again?  If I hurt my friend's feelings and they do not want to speak to me or see me, what do I want more than anything in the world?  To see them.  To speak to them.  To reconcile with them.  
Jesus wants me to reconcile with Him as well.  He IS always there for me to come back to.  But he will not come where he is not invited.  He will not remove my freedom to choose sin.  So I can not expect that He will never hide himself from me.  If I am unfaithful and unwilling to see my evil deeds, then it seems as though Christ hidden from me would not be to difficult to understand.  

The beautiful thing in all of this is His mercy.  If there is the teeniest, tiniest, smidgen of effort on my part to reconcile, He is there.  And I am remade in Him.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

#Microblog Mondays: Happy Graduation!

My beloved nephew graduated from Marine Boot Camp this past week.  He is an Honor Graduate and Leader of his Company.  We are so proud of him!  And we also celebrate the 239th birthday of the Marine Corps!  They are definitely, the Few and the Proud.  We are so grateful for all who have served! 
(In an effort to get my blogging back in gear, I have taken the #microblogmonday challenge.  You can jump back into blogging too!)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Remembering Kelly

Five years ago, the world lost a beautiful soul to cancer.  Kelly is often on my mind and I can barely believe it has been five years since we said good-bye. 

She will always remain young, full of life, and full of joy!  She oozed laughter, even in the worst of times.  I pray her two boys will always recall this beautiful smile that she never kept to herself.

I miss you, Kelly.  Until we meet again!

(In an effort to get my blogging back in gear, I have taken the #microblogmonday challenge.  You can jump back into blogging too!)

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Old Days

Beginning to feel my age, I suppose.  My children are aging out and moving on, and while I still have 3 at home full-time and 1 away at college, I sometimes long for the old days.  Before texting.  Before Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.  

While I do remember how I felt "trapped" at home with no one around from time to time, I miss the old days when we could shut the world out.  Really shut the world out.  And the only way to let the world in was if they called on the phone or showed up on the door step.  

I do enjoy having the technology now, but this mindset of having to respond instantaneously, (I mean really, does everyone respond like that?  And why is that an expectation?) is driving me to start to wonder if I might go rogue and ditch my cell phone (don't really use it as a phone anyway), fb, and all the other "fun" things I feel slave to.  

This would mean I would re-claim a landline and communicate via email or **GASP** hand-written letters!  That would not be horrible.  Maybe I would even finish one of the books in my stack.  Or consistently write on the blog.  I could be the new "hipster" thing.  Hm. 

(In an effort to get my blogging back in gear, I have taken the #microblogmonday challenge.  You can jump back into blogging too!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ten For Texas

Had a nice day running at Ten for Texas on October 11th.  I won't say I "raced" it, because, well, let's be real, you need to train to race and I have not been very successful with any real training most of the summer.  

Still, I had a great run in the never- to-be-out-done warm and humid mid-October Saturday morning, aka Ten for Texas day.  No PRs, but a respectable time of 1:31:xx.  

Initially, this was to be my barometer race to see if I was in shape to give a go at a BQ in February.  Even though I wasn't where I wanted to be, I  ended up better than I expected I would so I have committed to a training plan for The Woodlands Marathon.

(In an effort to get my blogging back in gear, I have taken the #microblogmonday challenge.  You can jump back into blogging too!)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

For Scott

You were taken from us a week ago today.  Never did a daily mile post go by that you didn't add an encouraging word to.  The advice you passed along through our email conversations will forever be saved in a special folder with your name on it. 

Thank you for being a wonderful friend.  I can not  imagine how much your family misses you.  I miss you.  All of DM misses you.  And most of us have never met you.

I pray I can touch half as many lives with half as much kindness as you did, friend.  I pray that you and Dale are riding the hills of Heaven together while looking down on us.  Don't mind our tears.  They will fade in time leaving behind a smile that is there because we were blessed to know you.

I pray for the soul that hit you, going 100 miles per hour.  I know that he can't live in peace now.  May he find a way to go on in a constructive way, because I am certain you wouldn't want it any other way.

May your family recall all of the memories you have made together and that they share the many stories of your love and life with your grandchildren.   I pray that your beautiful wife knows just how much you want to be with her.  I also pray that she feels all of the love from the people around the globe that you have inspired and encouraged.  

This week has been so difficult.  I am thankful I was able to talk to you today while on my prayer walk.  I was able to let go of some of the anger, some of the pain, some of the hurt.  There will always be a Scott sized hole in my heart.  Tonight, however, I bid you peace.  Peace in the eternal space that only love resides. 

Rest dear one. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Aeturnus Discipulus

I have been quiet the last few months as I have been on again and off again with my running, my quest with simplifying, and my faith journey.

Sometimes we just get stuck.  Usually, not everything gets stuck at the same time, but for some strange reason, in a perfect storm of events, my world got stuck.  Or at least it seemed to.  

I was able to get away on retreat a few weeks ago and the important take-away from my time in silence was, "Just Breathe" and "Love".   So simple, yet, for me, so telling.  If I feel like I am choking, stifled, angst-filled, I obviously am not "breathing".  What must I do to live?  Just breathe.  What must I do to be happy?  Just breathe.  What must I do to spend eternity with Christ?  Just breathe.  And love.  If I am breathing, I can love.  If I am choking, all I can do is worry about myself.  

I asked God to help me to remain a learner, a student, a discipulus.  Forever.  I am seeing now that the "stuck" period wasn't really a period of non-movement, rather it was a time to experience the muck of life that I allow to choke me.  And in that experience, I am humbled yet again.  I am nothing without Him.  And I would not want to BE without Him.  So I begged to remain a disciple. 

How does this pertain to running?  My running has always been reflective of my spiritual life and it is only fitting that as I emerge from another layer of myself being peeled away, that my running also go through a time of change, a time of learning, a time of growth.  So I am a beginner once more.  In my faith, in my running, in my perception of how I see others.  

I am so thankful that He has blessed me with the chance to start fresh.  In my new wineskins.  I pray that I can "just breathe" and "love".

The next smatterings of posts will be about how it feels to begin again.  Again.